Jonathan Cyprien: How Will Jacksonville's Newest SS Fare in the Pros?

Dan Hope@Dan_HopeContributor IIIApril 26, 2013

October 8, 2011; Akron, OH , USA; Akron Zips quarterback Clayton Moore (8) runs during the first quarter as FIU Golden Panthers defensive back Jonathan Cyprien (25) prepares to make the tackle in the game at  InfoCision Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports
Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

Florida International strong safety Jonathan Cyprien was not selected in Round 1 as many expected, but he didn't have to wait long on Day 2 to hear his name called. The Jacksonville Jaguars opened the draft's second day by selecting Cyprien with the No. 33 overall selection.


Jonathan Cyprien has the talent and potential to be a very good NFL strong safety. A hard-hitting enforcer, Cyprien is the best run-support safety in the draft class.

He is a strong tackler who has great size (6', 217 pounds) and good athleticism. He is a rangy run defender who can cover a lot of ground and is an effective blitzer.

Cyprien is inconsistent in coverage, but he has the speed and hip fluidity to cover deep effectively. He has very good ball skills and can make big plays from the back end.


For IDP fantasy football players, Cyprien could turn out to be a very valuable choice as a defensive back. He projects to be very active in run support, so he should get a high number of tackles for a safety. He also has the ball skills and athleticism on the back end to defend a good number of passes, and when he does get interceptions, has to speed to return those interceptions for significant yardage if he has a lane to run.


Releasing Dawan Landry earlier this offseason opened up a need at strong safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cyprien will face competition for the starting job from Chris Prosinski, but should certainly go into that battle as the favorite to win the starting job, as he is a better player both in run support and in coverage and can be a bigger playmaker on the back end.

Cyprien could be considered at free safety as well, but he is a better fit at strong safety. The best tandem among the Jaguars' current safeties. would be to team him up with Dwight Lowery, with Lowery at free safety.


The Jaguars had a need to fill at strong safety, and got one of the four best safeties in the draft class by selecting Cyprien. He was one of the best players available at the top of the second round, and can be a much-needed impact player in their secondary, something they did not have with their current personnel of defensive backs.

The Jaguars could have considered upgrading at quarterback with Geno Smith or cornerback with Johnthan Banks, but Cyprien was as good of a choice as anyone.