Javelin Guidry, the undrafted free agent and former track star from Utah, made some noise against the Raiders in his first extended action as a professional.
ith injuries and poor performance ravaging the New York Jets secondary throughout the season, the team has been forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel for usable bodies.
This past Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, undrafted free agent cornerback Javelin Guidry – a former 60-meter champion at Utah who ran a blazing 4.29 in the forty-yard dash at the Combine – played a career-high 36 defensive snaps (46.2% of the team’s defensive plays). Guidry had been a special teams regular over his first seven NFL appearances for the Jets, but he was rarely seen on defense, playing just eight defensive snaps over two different games.
Manning the slot corner position on 30 of his 36 snaps (83.3%), Guidry showed some intriguing flashes in his first extended appearance in the NFL. While most other players in the defense’s backend were shredded by Derek Carr and the Raiders’ 14th-ranked offense (according to DVOA), Guidry held up well in coverage and sprinkled in some impactful plays against the run.
Let’s dig into the film behind Guidry’s impressive showcase.
Effectively defending the run is naturally more important for a slot corner than it is for an outside corner, as they line up further inside. The Jets have received strong output in this facet from Brian Poole over his two years with the team.
Despite his lanky five-foot-nine, 193-pound frame, Guidry looked comfortable stopping the run. His awareness, block shedding and tackling all looked solid.
Prior to the snap on this first-down play, Henry Ruggs III goes in motion, so Guidry shifts to the right side of the defense and switches places with Harvey Langi. He essentially winds up as the Will linebacker (weak side). The Raiders run an inside handoff in Guidry’s direction.
Guidry, responsible for the B-gap, takes on the block of Ruggs, lowering his outside shoulder and powering Ruggs back to maintain leverage into the B-gap. The fullback ignores Guidry and heads to the second level, leaving Guidry in a position to make the tackle. Guidry extends his outside arm, frees himself from Ruggs and makes the tackle on Jalen Richard. In the process, he punches the ball out from behind with his right arm (Las Vegas recovers).
That was Guidry’s second forced fumble of the game; we will get to the first one a little later.
The play above occurred on a fourth-quarter drive as the Raiders were attempting to take the lead. Later on the same drive, Guidry made a key stop on second-and-6 to bring up third down with under two minutes left.
Lined up with heavy inside leverage in the right slot, Guidry has the run directed right at him.
The B-gap is left wide open as the left guard blocks down on Quinnen Williams and the right tackle kicks out to take Jordan Jenkins. With a clear-and-obvious lane for the running back, it’s on Guidry to make the play. Guidry aggressively shoots the gap before the wide receiver can block him, sinks his hips, and makes the diving tackle, grabbing Devontae Booker by the ankle. It’s a small three-yard pickup.
No tackle here for Guidry, but he plays his part to help make the stop happen.
Guidry begins shifting inside pre-snap due to the motion, and that helps him do his job post-snap. Booker reads from left-to-right, with his first read being the left-side B-gap – Guidry’s responsibility. Guidry diagnoses the play and quickly fills his gap, beating the wide receiver to the spot. With Guidry clogging the B-gap, Booker is forced back toward the traffic on the inside, where he is stuffed for a two-yard gain.
Guidry had a successful day in coverage from a production standpoint. Over six targets in his direction, he allowed five catches for 49 yards, but only one of them was a first down (however, Guidry was called for one holding penalty).
Let’s start with Guidry’s first of two forced fumbles on the day (we saw the second one above). While he is beaten by Henry Ruggs III, Guidry recovers, unleashing a violent swat at the ball and then making a savvy play afterward to help Marcus Maye secure the recovery:
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