Sheldrick Redwine brings untapped potential to the New York Jets’ safety room
Filling in as the New York Jets‘ fourth safety during Ashtyn Davis‘ absence will be Sheldrick Redwine, a 2019 fourth-round pick of the Browns who was recently released by the team that drafted him.
Set to turn 25 years old in November, the Miami (FL) product offers a decent amount of potential for a post-roster-cutdown pickup. He has some unique tools and was able to put together a few stretches of solid play throughout his first two seasons in the league, although he was inconsistent overall.
What exactly are the Jets getting in Redwine? Time to find out.
Sheldrick Redwine’s athletic profile
Redwine is an excellent athlete, offering tremendous speed and quickness even for his smallish frame.
Here are a few of Williams’ Combine numbers and their Relative Athletic Score (RAS) – a 0-to-10 score that summarizes how the number compares to a player’s peers at his position all-time.
- 20-yard split: 2.56 seconds (9.6)
- Broad jump: 130 inches (9.6)
- 10-yard split: 1.53 seconds (9.3)
- 40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds (9.2)
- Vertical jump: 39 inches (9.0)
- Short shuttle: 4.14 seconds (8.3)
- Height: 6 feet (5.0)
- 3-cone drill: 7.11 seconds (4.0)*Pro day
- Weight: 196 pounds (3.5)
- Bench press: 10 reps (1.8)
Redwine is a tad smaller than the average safety from a weight perspective, but he makes up for it with world-class movement skills.
His overall RAS was an 8.63 out of 10.
Sheldrick Redwine’s usage, role, playing time
Redwine played 27 games over his two seasons with the Browns, starting eight. He averaged 24.1 snaps per game and played 37% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps on average.
In his rookie year, Redwine barely played until he was elevated to a nearly-every-down starting role over the final five games of the season.
In his second year, Redwine mostly rotated between not playing at all and playing a situation role that had him on the field for between 15% and 40% of the snaps. There were three games in which he was thrown into the fray for a starter’s diet of reps.
Redwine is primarily a free safety but can line up all over the field. Here is a breakdown of where he lined up over his two seasons:
- Free safety: 54.0%
- Box: 30.0%
- Slot: 10.3%
- Edge: 4.5%
- Outside CB: 1.1%
As you would expect given that he is primarily a deep man, Redwine has not blitzed often. He was sent after the quarterback on only 19 of his 650 career snaps (2.9%).
Sheldrick Redwine’s promising rookie season
Redwine’s rookie year set him up with a solid base to build his career off of. Over 374 snaps, he earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 66.4. That placed him at the 49th percentile among safeties – smack in the middle of the pack.
Most of those snaps (309 of them) came over the final five games of the season in which Redwine was a starter.
It was in coverage where Redwine showed the most promise. He allowed only nine catches for 95 yards over 191 snaps in coverage, an average of 0.50. For reference, the 2020 league average for safeties was 0.58. Redwine also recorded a pass deflection on two of the mere 11 passes that were thrown his way (18.2% rate – 2020 safety average was 14.5%).
Redwine’s PFF coverage of 68.4 placed him at the 58th percentile among qualified safeties in 2019.
Run defense was Redwine’s weakness as a rookie. His 54.3 grade in that phase ranked at the position’s 24th percentile.
Sheldrick Redwine’s disappointing second year
Cleveland did not give Redwine a great chance to build off of his strong finish in 2019. He did not play a single defensive snap over the first four games of the season as Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo held down the safety spots (and played poorly).
Redwine eventually got to play 276 snaps over Cleveland’s final 12 games of the season (he missed one of those games), but he was not as effective as he was in his debut campaign.
In coverage, Redwine took a step back. He allowed eight catches for 105 yards over 176 snaps in coverage, pushing his yards per cover snap average up to 0.60. His PFF coverage grade dipped to 51.5, ranking at the 15th percentile.
The main reason for Redwine’s dip in coverage was the fact that he yielded more damage down the field. Redwine allowed just 21 air yards in 2019 (2.3 per reception). He gave up 67 in 2020 (8.4 per reception).
Redwine also got even worse against the run. His 40.8 run defense grade ranked 95th out of 99 qualifiers.
Sheldrick Redwine’s tackling must improve
Tackling has been a consistent problem for Redwine throughout each of his two seasons. He had the 13th-highest missed tackle rate among safeties in 2019 (19.5%) and the third-highest in 2020 (22.2%).
Most of Redwine’s tackling issues have occurred in the run game – hence why his run-defense grades are so poor. With 17 tackles and eight missed tackles in the run game, he has an astronomically bad 32.0% missed tackle rate in the run game. The 2020 league average for safeties was 13.0%.
Redwine’s 14.0% missed tackle rate in the passing game is still subpar (the 2020 safety average was 10.7%), but it obviously is nowhere near as problematic as his run-game rate.
Sheldrick Redwine may have upside as a blitzer
As mentioned earlier, Redwine is not used as a blitzer often due to his role as a free safety, but he has been effective over the few instances in which he was asked to blitz.
Redwine has collected six pressures over just 19 pass-rush snaps. That’s a pressure rate of 31.6% – the 2020 league average for safeties was 18.8%.
Sheldrick Redwine’s 2021 offseason
Redwine missed much of training camp and the preseason with an ankle injury. He returned for Cleveland’s preseason finale against the Falcons and got a decent amount of playing time.
A familiar occurrence happened during Redwine’s 25-snap appearance – he missed another tackle in the run game.
In coverage, Redwine dropped back on 17 snaps and allowed one catch for seven yards (not a first down) across two targets. He earned a decent PFF coverage grade of 64.8.
Redwine did not get any blitzing opportunities.
Sheldrick Redwine’s special teams impact
The Jets can use Redwine on special teams. He played 324 special teams snaps for Cleveland over his two years there, participating frequently with every unit except for the field goal/extra point protection team.
Redwine’s tackling issues have not translated to special teams. He has 14 tackles and four missed tackles on special teams. That’s a 3.5-to-1 ratio (22.2% miss rate), better than the NFL average of 2.9-to-1 (25.6%) in 2020.
Sheldrick Redwine will need to impress quickly in New York
Once Ashtyn Davis is activated off of injured reserve, the Jets will likely have to cut ties with either Redwine or veteran backup safety Sharrod Neasman.
Considering Neasman’s experience edge, longtime familiarity with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, and the fact that he spent most of the offseason with the Jets, one would think that the Jets will lean towards parting with Redwine over Neasman once Davis arrives.
Redwine needs to impress quickly on the practice field and in whatever game action he gets to ensure that he sticks around.
Altogether, Redwine is a solid addition to the secondary. He adds youth and upside to the back of the roster while providing the ability to contribute on special teams. Since he is not going to be relied upon to play a key backup role – Neasman is ahead of him and Davis is expected to return quickly – it makes sense that the Jets valued long-term upside over short-term reliability with this pickup.