It’s almost that time of year when a player on the bubble of an NFL roster waits to hear his name. Will the player make a down payment on a house? Or will he be hopping on a plane to try with another NFL team? Just imagine showing up to work on a Friday, not knowing if you will be invited back on Monday. It’s got to be stressful right?
The decision falls upon the coaching staff and front office to decide those final spots. Weigh the pros and cons of a handful of players and how each can be utilized throughout the season. Not an easy task finding reserves that could potentially contribute meaningful minutes.
However, when it comes to finding reserves for the defensive secondary, three players will make the decision easier for the staff.
Cornerback, Breon Borders
The road to being on the cusp of an NFL roster has been a rollercoaster ride for Borders. The former standout at Duke entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2017 with the Oakland Raiders. He was waived prior to the season and spent time on the practice squad. He later had the same results with Buffalo and Houston, signed to practice squad and released shortly afterwards.
Borders is looking to change the pattern in Jacksonville for the 2019 campaign. He has performed admirably in the first three preseason games recording six tackles and two pass break ups (PBUs).
His experience gives him a slight edge on the depth chart over rookies Picasso Nelson and Tae Hayes (Both Nelson and Hayes were released on Friday as part of the 53-man roster cutdowns). Borders has a chance to nail down his roster spot during Thursday’s final preseason game against Atlanta.
Safety/Cornerback Josh Robinson
Unlike Borders, Josh Robinson’s career has been a little more decorated. He was drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2012 NFL Draft.
As a Viking, Robinson made the most of his playing time during his first three seasons. He recorded five interceptions (INT) and 15 PBUs as cornerback in Minnesota, before succumbing to injuries and younger competition.
Robinson then headed to Tampa Bay in hopes to continue his career and compete as a cornerback. Things didn’t quite go as planned for Robinson in the Tampa secondary. However he did have the opportunity to add the position of safety to his resume. Additionally, Robinson became quite the special teams standout for the Buccaneers.
He signed with Jacksonville in late July this year and has opened some eyes. Hopefully his eight years of experience will be a positive influence on the Jaguars’ safeties. So far during the preseason, Robinson has made an impact in the secondary with nine tackles and has made a couple of returns on special teams. He will be a valuable defensive reserve with a chip on his shoulder entering the season.
Cornerback Tre Herndon
As an undrafted free agent in 2018, expectations for Tre Herndon were modest to say the least. But the cornerback from Vanderbilt made the 2018 roster and looks to do so again in 2019. Without a doubt he is learning behind two of the NFL’s best at the cornerback position. His hard work and attention to detail continues to pay off. During training camp, Herndon successfully ran with the first team defense in place of starting cornerback A.J. Bouye. He has racked up a five tackles through three preseason games in limited play.
Herndon has been steady and consistent in the preseason in the eyes of the new secondary coaches Tim Walton and Joe Danna. Herndon is already an important piece to a top rated defense, and will surely see action in case of injuries to the starters. If he can remain consistent, Herndon will find time on the field and join a talented group of corners heading into 2019.