D.J. Hayden’s first season with Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t turn out so great as the team struggled and finished 2018 with a 5-11 record. But Hayden is convinced things are getting better in 2019.
The 29-year-old cornerback recently spoke with The Florida Times-Union’s Gene Frenette and told him that he expects Jags to be the “best defense in the league” next year.
“I feel like we’re going to be the best defense in the league, I can’t wait,” – said Hayden. “I know we’ll have some new faces, but I feel like this is going to be a great defense no matter who is out there.”
Hayden only played 10 games last year due to injuries, but still managed to put together a respectable season in which he had 46 tackles, 1.0 sacks, and one interception. He intends to build on this in 2019 and expects the rest of the secondary to follow.
“All that good stuff — getting turnovers, sacks and making big plays — I feel like we’ll do that,” – he added. “I feel 100 percent comfortable with what we’re doing and our safeties. I feel we’ll be the best secondary in the league.”
Although Hayden’s claims might seem exaggerated this early in the offseason, he isn’t the only one that gives Jacksonville’s defense a high grade. NFL Network analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah also ranks the Jags as the best team on the defensive side of the ball, putting them ahead of Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers.