The great thing about the NFL is that there are so many positions that every year, there is almost always at least one player who has a breakout year on every team, no matter how good or bad the team is. This is the part in a 32 part segment detailing one potential breakout player for the 2012 NFL season on each NFL team. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, that player is cornerback Derek Cox.
Derek Cox is the X-factor in the Jaguars’ secondary. He’ll be the #1 cornerback. Cox, a surprise 3rd round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, didn’t play well as a starter in either 2009 or 2010. As a rookie in 2009, he was ProFootballFocus’ 2nd worst rated cornerback and in 2010, he wasn’t much better, ranking 95th out of 100 eligible cornerbacks. He was a big part of what was one of the worst secondaries in the league, as the Jaguars allowed 7.6 YPA, 27th in the league, in 2009, and 8.3 YPA, worst in the league, in 2010.
However, 1st and 2nd year struggles aren’t totally damning for NFL players, especially ones coming from same school backgrounds, like Cox, who went to Williams & Mary. He was awesome to start the season last year, playing essentially 5 ½ games. He allowed just 9 completions on 28 attempts (32.1%) for 105 yards (3.8 YPA), no touchdowns, and no interceptions, while deflecting 3 passes and being penalized once. His 44.5 QB rating would have been 2nd in the league had he had enough snaps to qualify. If he can stay healthy and keep that up over an entire season, he’ll emerge as one of the top cornerbacks in the league.
If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote). http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/football/commissioner/Registration/Private.aspx?league=55086&password=FanSpot2