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Dumping Timmy Jernigan now made sense to the Ravens…

I hope 4th year defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan will thrive in a new system in Philadelphia. Obviously the Ravens did not think that was going to happen in Baltimore.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh swears he does not have a “doghouse”, but if he ever did, Timmy Jernigan was in it.

Scuttlebutt surrounded Jernigan’s years in Baltimore, things like “bad attitude”, “not good for the locker room”, “out of shape”, “sulks over lack of playing time”, “commits stupid penalties”, and so on.

But the young man has undeniable football talent, and the Ravens decided to dump him now while they could still get something for him this year.

The Ravens have traded defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan to the Philadelphia Eagles to move up 25 picks in the third round of this year’s draft.

Baltimore is giving up Jernigan and the No. 99 pick overall (a compensatory selection) in exchange for the Eagles’ No. 74 pick, which is the tenth pick in the third round.

“We are excited to add Timmy Jernigan to our defensive front. It was hard to move down in the third round, but we believe in building along the lines, and he is a good fit for our scheme,” Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. “At 24 years old, his best football is still ahead of him. We still have at least one pick in every round and eight total picks in the draft that will take place in Philadelphia in front of our fans in a few weeks.”

About a week ago I had written this about Jernigan for the Ravens site here:

Anybody interested in trading for a very experienced 4th-year defensive tackle?

Timmy Jernigan is for sale. The 6-2, 295 lb. veteran out of Florida State is in the final year of his rookie  contract. He’s actually capable of bringing a lot of impact to any team’s 3-4 defense. There were times in the past when his emotions got the best of him in late-game situations, but he says he’s grown past that.

“Head Coach John Harbaugh said other teams are interested in Timmy Jernigan because they see the depth the Ravens have on the defensive line. Harbaugh feels like Jernigan is ‘going to have the best year of his career, without question.’— Ryan Mink, Baltimore Ravens Media

According to Ryan Mink, the question is what the Ravens could get in return? If a team doesn’t come forward with a high enough offer (likely in draft pick currency), Baltimore could keep Jernigan and get a compensatory pick in the 2019 NFL Draft if he signs elsewhere next season.

“Everybody is up for trade. I’m sure that if the Ravens got enough, they’d trade me in a second,” Harbaugh joked. “[Trading players is] part of the conversation in the NFL.”

Jernigan is a very talented player. The 2014 second-round pick started 15 of 16 games last season and registered 31 tackles, a career-high five sacks, three passes defensed and an interception. He has 13 career sacks in three seasons.

The Florida State product started hot last season with three sacks in the Ravens’ first three games. Over the second half of the season, however, he notched one sack and seven tackles.

John Harbaugh is putting a major positive spin on the idea that Jernigan is an incredible value right now for someone looking to upgrade their defensive line for the price of a reasonable draft pick:

“Timmy, I’m sure he’s training hard. I know how passionate he is, I know how much he wants to be great. He’s another guy that gives me big squeezes and tells me everything is going to be OK. He wants to be a great player.”

When the Ravens made a splash by re-signing their own free agent defensive tackle Brandon Williams to a 5-year, $52 million contract, Jernigan basically became expendable.

As I noted above, Jernigan is a very talented player, but his level of play wasn’t consistent. Even Jernigan admitted last offseason that he had yet to become the force the Ravens drafted him to be. He said defensive line coach Joe Cullen was constantly pushing him in practice.

Over the final seven games on 2016, he logged just five tackles and zero sacks. Jernigan also had a costly fumble in a loss to the New York Jets after scooping it up near the goal line. His snap count dipped as the year went on. Jernigan played in 67 percent of the Ravens’ defensive snaps in the first half of the season, but just 54 percent of the snaps over the second half, per Pro Football Focus.

Maybe he will shine with a move to a 4-3 defensive system?

As long as Jernigan keeps his cool at certain pressure points in close games, I think he’ll be an asset to the Eagles defense. You will love his pursuit and his emotion—you will hate his stupid penalties like hitting guys who are already out-of-bounds. If his emotional maturity is increasing, his level of play should keep improving too.

Timmy Jernigan stats:

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft1 58 in 299 lb 31 58 in 9 58 in 5.06 s 29 12in 8 ft 6 in 27 reps
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Games Def Interceptions Fumbles Sacks & Tackles
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Sk Tkl Ast Sfty AV
2014 22 BAL dt 97 12 3 4.0 13 12 2
2015 23 BAL DT 97 15 8 4.0 18 19 5
2016 24 BAL DT 99 16 15 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 1 0 5.0 16 15 8
Career 43 26 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 1 0 13.0 47 46 15
Date of birth: September 24, 1992 (age 24)
Place of birth: Lake City, Florida
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 295 lb (134 kg)
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