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Jets 2017 Roster Breakdown: Can Morris Claiborne Finally Develop into an Elite Cornerback?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Our Jets roster countdown takes a look at Morris Claiborne.

Name: Morris Claiborne

Number: 21

Year with Jets: 1st

Projected Role: Number one cornerback

His 2016: After four years of disappointment, Claiborne finally started making good on the promise that made him one of the consensus best prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft. He looked the part of a top notch cornerback. However, Claiborne suffered a groin injury that limited him to 7 regular season games. His ability to stay healthy had held him back for years, and it became an issue again.

2017 will be a success if: Claiborne is a shutdown corner for the Jets. The team has a lot riding on his ability to stick with the other team’s best receiver. I would argue that Claiborne might be the most important player on the defense. If he can perform his role well, it will give the Jets a weapon to neutralize the other team’s best targets. The Jets can simplify their coverages and allocate resources to fortify other parts of the defense. If Claiborne isn’t up to the task or gets injured, this cornerback group may look as vulnerable as last year’s group.

Odds of making the roster: Lock (>99%)