The expanding role series looks at players who will see more snaps in 2015.
DT Timmy Jernigan
6-foot-2, 302 pounds
2014 2nd-round pick
23 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 7 quarterback hits
330 snaps of possible 898 (36.7 percent)
Jernigan was explosive in his limited action. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was the NFL's second-best defensive end in a 3-4 system in pass-rush productivity (trailing only Houston's J.J. Watt), and sixth-best against the run. Jernigan missed four games due to injury, but also started the final three regular-season games while Haloti Ngata was suspended.
Who Is He Taking Snaps From?
31 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 quarterback hits
646 snaps of possible 978 (66.1 percent)
Ngata ws the defensive anchor for nine years in Baltimore before he was traded to the Detroit Lions. He was a force both against the run and with pressure up the middle, just like Jernigan.
Why He'll Break Out
It's more than just more opportunities for Jernigan. He has also learned how to play better within the Ravens' defensive system. Jernigan excels at splitting gaps with his excellent burst off the snap and raw power. However, sometimes that eagerness to split offensive linemen and get penetration got him out of position. Jernigan also said he's in the best shape of his life after training back home in Florida this offseason. His goal is to make the Pro Bowl in his second year.
What will be closest to Timmy Jernigan's 2015 stats?