Anyone got any strong opinions on this guy? He has been a guy who has seriously intrigued me for awhile now. He is a bit under the radar simply because he has had Carlton Davis ahead of him for his entire career. He has started games every year he has been in the league. He has missed 7 games in four seasons so he has been pretty durable. He has great size at 6’1" 206 pounds and his RAS was a 9.93 coming out.
PFF has never graded him below a 76.7 coverage grade in any year of his career so his worst year would still have him ranked 15th in coverage grade this season. He currently has the 5th best coverage grade out of all CB’s. Per PFF, his run defense was very average most of his career, but he has made a major jump this season.
According to the below article from PFF that was written before this season, he has given up the fewest yards per coverage snap in press coverage of any CB in the NFL since 2020.
No NFL cornerback has allowed fewer yards per coverage snap in press coverage since 2020 than Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean, often the forgotten man in a unit also containing Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Dean has allowed just over one-third of targets into his coverage to be caught for only 0.34 yards per press coverage snap across that span.
So he can play press man defense at a high level, has the body type we look for in an outside CB, has elite RAS scores which Holmes seems to value pretty highly, and is reportedly a fantastic person and a man of character. On top of that he is only 26 and could theoretically continue an elite level of play through a 5 year contract.
> “I just thought wow, this guy, he’s the total package. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s smart, he’s got everything that you want. He’s a great person, both on and off the field. He’s a joy to be around.”
Dean’s head coach, Gus Malzahn, was just as complimentary of him:
> “When he’s healthy, he’s as good as it gets, I think. But he’s been resilient, battled through adversity. When you do that it just makes you stronger. He’s got great character, he’s an excellent person. I think his best football is ahead of him.”
To me this kid checks every box that this staff would have and fills a massive need on this team. If you told me I had to choose between Dean or Payne in FA, I’d go with Dean, IMO. I also think he won’t cost as much as you would think because he has been in Carlton Davis’ shadow his entire career. Considering Carlton Davis resigned with the Bucs last off-season for under 15mil AAV, I would think Dean doesn’t top that. I’d give him a 5 year 70mil deal with 35mil in guarantees.
Just curious if anyone else knows a little more about him or has a different opinion.