Numbers review: Jags' downfield coverage

ESPN Stats and Info’s pre-draft look at the Jaguars unsurprisingly focused on pass defense. The Jaguars need safeties and while an upgrade there may help Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox play better at corner, they can use help there as well.

Opposing quarterbacks had a 117.7 passer rating on passes outside the field numbers thrown 11 yards or more downfield against the Jaguars’ defense -- 21 rating points higher than the 31st-ranked team in the NFL (Dallas).

On such passes, the Jags also allowed 54 completions, 13.1 yards per attempt and 51 first downs, the worst numbers in the NFL in each category. They were also the only team to allow a completion percentage over .500 (.535).

Reread those two paragraphs and let them soak in. Those numbers are simply atrocious.

It’s not simply secondary help that’s needed to fix these things.

That’s why a pass-rushing defensive end at No. 16 wouldn’t be a bad move. There isn't a safety in play for the spot and they'd likely be looking at the third cornerback.

General manager Gene Smith believes in building foundations first, and that rush end could complete the rebuilding of the line and help give the team the sort of pass rush it’s been lacking. That would have a major impact on the secondary.

But that’s just a piece of it, and Smith will certainly be adding defensive backs as well. I think his plan is to add one safety in the draft (maybe he’s a corner right now) and another when free agency rolls around. My dream for the people of Jacksonville is the free agent is Eric Weddle from San Diego.

All those draft needs sure makes you wonder a bit about when exactly Smith will be able to take a breath and draft that quarterback.

I don’t want to overload you, but as there are more telling numbers, I can’t help but share them.

The 2010 Jaguars were the only team in the NFL to allow a completion percentage better than .500 on passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield. The Jags were also one of just four teams that did not record an interception when using secondary pressure. Also, no pass defense in the NFL allowed more yards per attempt (8.9) or a higher passer rating (101.0) when sending four or fewer pass rushers than the Jaguars.