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53 Man Roster

Roster Breakdown: Initial Jacksonville Jaguars 53-Player Roster

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have completed their initial cutdown for the 53-man roster ahead of the 2019 regular season. Although there were a couple of surprise cuts, for the most part, the Jaguars cuts were standard.

Two undrafted free agent rookies made the Jaguars initial 53-man roster including safety Andrew Wingard and linebacker Joes Giles-Harris. Both showed plenty of ability during training camp and into the preseason. Wingard adds to the defensive backfield due to his versatility and knowledge of the defense.

While there could be changes to this roster after the NFL claiming period ends Sunday at noon, we break down the Jaguars’ initial 53-man group and give some potential waiver-wire options:

Roster breakdown:

Rookies for Jaguars are marked in italics

Quarterbacks (2): Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew

Thoughts:  The Jaguars opted to keep only two quarterbacks, which was an expected move after only retaining two last season. With Alex McGough off the roster, the Jaguars have only rookie quarterback Minshew to back up Foles.

Minshew started three games for the Jaguars during the preseason. Depending on how they feel about Minshew moving forward this is an area the Jaguars might address on the waiver wire.

Potential Options: Brian Hoyer (Patriots), Kyle Lauletta (Giants), Cardale Jones (Chargers)

Running Backs (3): Leonard Fournette, Ryquell Armstead, Alfred Blue

Thoughts: It is very unlikely for the Jaguars to only retain three running backs into the season. Last year, the Jaguars kept only three backs and suffered mightly because of it. With potential injuries to all three — Armstead and Blue were already hurt this year –, the Jaguars may look to the waiver wire to find another solution.

Potential options: Josh Adams (Eagles), Wendell Smallwood (Eagles), Boston Scott (Eagles), Elijah McGuire (Jets), Devine Ozigbo (Saints)

Wide Receivers (6): Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, C.J. Board, DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Keelan Cole

Thoughts: Keeping six receivers is a smart move by the Jaguars as veteran receiver Marqise Lee is still working his way back from his knee injury. Although Lee is ready and on the practice field, the Jaguars are likely to bring him back slowly during games.

The Jaguars will start Conley and Chark outside with Westbrook in the slot to start the season. As the season progresses look for Lee to take over outside with Cole coming off the bench. Cole also has the ability to play special teams as a return-man and coverage player.

Due to Terrelle Pryor getting hurt, that opened the door for receivers C.J. Board, Tyre Brady, and Tre McBride to make the Jaguars initial 53-man roster. Board won the battle and was the Jaguars second-leading receiver throughout the preseason. Board recorded 10 receptions for 115 yards in four games during the preseason. He was ultimately not targetted during the last preseason game against the Falcons.

The Jaguars may replace Board with a free agent or through the waiver wire.

Potential Options: Pharoh Cooper (Cardinals), Demaryius Thomas (Patriots), Keelan Doss (Raiders), Josh Doctson (Washington), Laquon Treadwell (Vikings)

Tight Ends (4): James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack, Geoff Swaim, Josh Oliver

Thoughts: After Jaguars rookie tight end Charles Jones went down due to a foot injury, it opened the door for tight end Ben Koyack to remain on the team. Due to not being able to compete in the preseason, Jones was ultimately waived. The Jaguars will enter the season with Swaim as the clear-cut starting tight end over O’Shaughnessy. Oliver is still recovering from an offseason hamstring issue that kept him out most of training camp, and the entire preseason.

Koyack could be on a short leash depending on the tight ends waived during the day.

Potential Options: Luke Wilson (Raiders), Will Tye (Eagles), Dwayne Allen (Dolphins)

Offensive Linemen (9): A.J. Cann, Brandon Linder, Andrew Norwell, Tyler Shatley, Brandon Thomas, Cam Robinson, Jawaan Taylor, Will Richardson Jr., Cedric Ogbuehi

Analysis: Perhaps the Jaguars weakest positon group due to lack of depth, the Jaguars still retained the players they needed to here. Cann, Linder, Norwell, Robinson, Taylor, Richardson, and Ogbuehi were always going to make it. The Jaguars could eventually bring back tackle Josh Wells, but Leonard Wester’s days as a Jaguar are over. He will likely be released with an injury settlement when healthy.

As of right now, Ogbuehi will enter the season as the Jaguars swing-tackle, with Richardson Jr. able to play right tackle in a pinch.

The Jaguars absolutely could upgrade on the interior with players such as Tyler Shatley and Brandon Thomas on the bottom end of the position group, however, there may not be much in the way of help on the market.

Potential Options: John Jerry (Bengals) 

Defensive Linemen (10): Josh Allen, Eli Ankou, Lerentee McCray, Taven Bryan, Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Dawuane Smoot, Abry Jones, Dontavius Russell, Marcell Dareus

Thoughts: The only surprise on this list is Defensive lineman Datone Jones being left off of it. The veteran produced plenty during training camp and the preseason. During the preseason he notched 11 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, a quarterback hit, and one blocked kick. This was all while playing five different positions on defense.

The Jaguars opted to keep third-year defensive tackle Eli Ankou. Ankou played well during the preseason, however, the Jaguars could have kept their rotation stronger had they retained Jones. Nevertheless, this is the best position group on the roster.

There will not be very much of a reason for the Jaguars to go to the waiver wire, however, I would not completely rule it out.

Potential Options: Jachai Polite (Jets)

Linebackers (6): Myles Jack, Leon Jacobs, Najee Goode, Quincy Williams, Joe Giles-Harris, D.J. Alexander

Thoughts: In our 53-man roster prediction, the Jaguars retained only five linebackers with D.J. Alexander being the odd man out. The Jaguars opted to keep six linebackers and three running backs. Giles-Harris makes the roster as one of the two undrafted free agent rookies to make the team due to his play on special teams and stoutness in the run game.

This is probably one of the weakest groups on the roster due to the loss of Telvin Smith, and Jake Ryan, however, linebacker Najee Goode turned out to be a great signing during the offseason and could end up starting week one if Williams is not ready to go. Williams just got back to the practice field last week.

Potential Options: Malcolm Smith (49ers), Brandon Marshall (Raiders)

Defensive Backs (10): Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Cody Davis, D.J. Hayden, Jarrod Wilson, Josh Robinson, Breon Borders, Ronnie Harrison, Tre Herndon, Andrew Wingard

Thoughts: The Jaguars entered the offseason with a very strong defensive backfield. After the release of veteran safety Tashaun Gipson, and the fall-from-grace for now-released Quenton Meeks, the Jaguars found themselves in a bit of an issue at corner and safety. Luckily, Breon Borders and Josh Robinson stepped up to the plate on defense and special teams, respectively.

Replacing Gipson is Jarrod Wilson who has played okay throughout the offseason, and will be helped by the two studs on the outside in A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey.

Andrew Wingard is the second undrafted free agent rookie to make the team’s initial 53-man roster. Wingard has been a great story throughout his career as he has always had an uphill battle from high school and now into the NFL. He will contribute on special teams and as part of the depth at safety.

Potential Options: Chris Banjo (Bears), Corn Elder (Panthers), T.J. Ward (Buccaneers)

Special Teams (3): Josh Lambo, Logan Cooke, Matt Overton

Thoughts: No surprise here. All offseason Lambo, Cookie, and Overton were making the team barring injury. Cooke has had a great preseason and has been working on directional punting.

Potential Options: None.

Click here to see a list of all the Jaguars cuts.

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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53 Man Roster

Final Jaguars 53-man roster prediction, finally settling down

Demetrius Harvey

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Jul 25, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (10) enters the field during training camp at Dream Finders Home Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
With three weeks of the preseason in the books, it is nearly time for the Jaguars to decide on who will, and will not make the opening day 53-man roster.
Of course, everything will be subject to change depending on whether the Jaguars make waiver claims or trades. There likely will be at least three players not currently on the Jaguars 90-man roster who make it on their opening day 53-man roster just a week and some change from now.

Quarterback (2)

Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew

Thoughts: A difference from the first prediction, Minshew has captured the Jaguars eye and will be commanding the immediate backup quarterback spot behind Foles. Although Alex McGough has shown flashes of potential, his inconsistency in camp, and in games will have ultimately been his downfall.

The Jaguars will likely attempt to stash McGough on the practice squad.

Running Back (4)

Leonard Fournette, Ryquell Armstead, Alfred Blue, Thomas Rawls

Thoughts: Cunningham was released a few weeks ago, and Rawls ultimately takes his place. This is a position in which will likely not be “final” until well after the Jaguars make their official cuts on Saturday. Blue has been out since last week with an ankle injury, and the Jaguars may want to upgrade the position before week one of the regular season.

Fournette and Armstead are the only two who will clearly make the teams’ 53-man roster, and if it weren’t for his injury, Blue would be the clear third.

Wide Receiver (6)

DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole, Terrelle Pryor Sr.

Thoughts: Coined the position of “too many cooks” earlier this offseason, the Jaguars receiver group is shaping out to be rather interesting. Chark, Conley, Westbrook, and Lee are all clear locks to make the roster, with Cole not far behind them. The Jaguars love Cole’s potential and versatility on special teams too much to say goodbye just yet.

The sixth spot is essentially up for grabs and may not even be on the roster. If it were not for his injury, Pryor might be another lock to make the team as he offers the Jaguars something they simply would not get out of the other receivers.

Nevertheless, he makes the team as the sixth receiver in the hopes of a quick recovery from yet another soft-tissue injury. The Jaguars may look elsewhere outside of their roster to fill this spot or opt to keep someone such as Tre McBride or C.J. Board.

Tight End (4)

Geoff Swaim, Josh Oliver, James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack

Thoughts: The tight end position for the Jaguars is tough. Due to injuries, there really is not much wiggle room here. Swaim just returned, and Oliver will be back in no time. O’Shaughnessy is a lock to make the team, so that leaves only one open spot. Charles Jones had an upper-hand midway through training camp but also suffered from the injury bug. He has yet to make his way onto the field, and will likely suit up against the Falcons on Thursday to prove he is worth keeping.

Barring a stunning performance by Charles Jones, Koyack is the most likely suitor for the job — at least for now. The Jaguars will likely scour the waiver wire post cutdown day to acquire a dependable veteran tight end.

Offensive Line (9)

Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, Will Richardson Jr.,  Jawaan Taylor, Cedric Ogbuehi, A.J. Cann, Tyler Shatley, Josh Wells

Thoughts: There are likely seven “locks” on the roster at the moment. This includes Robinson, Norwell, Linder, Cann, Taylor, Richardson, and Ogbuehi. The other two spots are up for grabs when it’s all said and done. Leonard Wester not making the team should come as a surprise to no one.

Shatley survives the final cut yet again, although just one or two waiver claims can put his roster spot at risk.

Defensive Line (10)

Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus, Abry Jones, Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen, Taven Bryan, Datone Jones, Dawauane Smoot, Dontavius Russell, Lerentee McCray

Thoughts: This group got easier and easier to figure out as the weeks leading up to cut-down day unfolded. A couple of surprises this summer were Smoot and Jones. Not much was expected out of either player, and they easily exceeded expectations. It would be shocking if either finds themselves getting a call from “the Turk”.

Jones, in particular, has looked explosive, and his added versatility on defense makes him one of the most desirable players to stick around as far as backups go. The same can be said for Smoot as he looks to reshape his career.

Russell offers a bit more in movement than backup nose tackle Eli Ankou does. Coming in as a seventh-round pick this season, Russell will hope to eventually become Jones’ primary backup.

With the most players at any position group, this is easily the Jaguars’ best on the roster as it is loaded with young and talented players. Keeping Lerentee McCray for special teams and as another speed-rusher off the edge was a no-brainer in this situation.

Linebacker (5)

Myles Jack, Najee Goode, Leon Jacobs, Quincy Williams, Joe Giles-Harris

PUP: Jake Ryan

Thoughts: Keeping two rookies on the roster is a bit of a risk, but the special team’s ability Giles-Harris possess and his age places him a tad higher over veteran D.J. Alexander for me.

Ryan will make the team, but likely start the season on the PUP list which will result in him missing the first six games of the season.

One interesting aspect about this group is the return of linebacker Quincy Williams just in time for the regular-season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Goode has been starting in place of Williams since his absence. Whether or not it will be Goode or Williams as the starter remains to be seen.

Cornerback (5)

A.J. Bouye, Jalen Ramsey, D.J. Hayden, Tre Herndon, Breon Borders

Thoughts: What was originally a very “cut and dry” selection, is now rather difficult. The Jaguars have a ton of talent at the top end of this position group, but there has not been a great deal of separation beyond the top three players.

Quenton Meeks just misses the roster due mostly to his poor play over the course of training camp and into the preseason. Borders and Herndon have both looked much better than Meeks. Herndon has the ability to go inside due to his versatility.

If the Jaguars opt to keep six corners, cornerback Tae Hayes makes a lot of sense to make the roster. Although he is on the short side (5’9″), he has made an impact on the field this preseason. Keep an eye on veteran cornerback/safety Josh Robinson as well.

Safety (5)

Ronnie Harrison, Jarrod Wilson, Cody Davis, C.J. Reavis, Andrew Wingard

Thoughts: As stated above, this could easily only include four safeties with an extra player being retained at the cornerback position. For now, Wingard makes the cut. His skill set and familiarity with the defense is desireable, and he plays plenty of special teams.

Reavis nearly was in competition with starting safety Wilson but that fire was quickly put out as the young safety struggled mightly against the Eagles. Although he had a rebound week against the Dolphins, it is not enough to earn him the starting spot. For now, he will be an ace on special teams along with Davis.

Special Teams (3)

Logan Cooke, Josh Lambo, Matt Overton

Thoughts: Surprisingly (not), there is not any controversy on special teams. Cooke has looked exceptional (45.2-yard punt average), and Lambo has yet to look shaky at all. The long snapping position was won a long time ago when the Jaguars released long-time long snapper, Carson Tinker.

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53 Man Roster

Jaguars 2019 position group breakdown: Defensive Backs

Brandon Carroll

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Oct 7, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts with the crowd in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue the breakdown of the Jacksonville Jaguars roster, we move onto the defensive side to take a look at their secondary. The defensive back position is a strong one, to say the least for the Jaguars. With arguably the best cornerback tandem in the entire NFL. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye look to hold down the outside once again for the Jaguars in 2019. 

While there are 16 defensive backs on the Jaguars roster, only about half have a shot of making the final cut. At safety, Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson will get their first shots at entering the year as starters. The Jaguars let go of Barry Church near the end of last season and Tashaun Gipson soon after the season ended. 

Replacing two players that were getting old with fresher, younger talent was a good move for the organization as Ronnie Harrison showed the coaching staff his playmaking ability late last season when he took over for Barry Church. 

Projected Secondary depth chart: 

*Italicized indicates starters

CB1: Jalen Ramsey, Quenton Meeks

CB2: A.J. Bouye, Tre Herndon 

Nickel: D.J. Hayden 

SS: Ronnie Harrison, C.J. Reavis 

FS: Jarrod Wilson, Cody Davis 

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey, entering his 4th year out of Florida State, is looking to solidify his claim that he is, in fact, the best corner in the league. Standing at 6’1 and weighing nearly 200 pounds, Ramsey is a larger corner that uses his frame to his advantage. His physicality allows him to get a jam off the line and throw off the route timing the quarterback is accustomed to, taking his man out of the play. His length allows him to bat away balls and jump in front for takeaways with ease. 

Last season, Ramsey recorded 65 tackles, 3 interceptions and only allowed over 100 yards to receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown. Both receivers are touted as two of the best in the NFL.

While he took a step back from his breakout sophomore campaign in 2017, Ramsey remained atop the league in all categories as a corner. According to Playerprofiler.com, he was ninth in pass breakups with 12, 12th in passer rating allowed when he’s in coverage at 78.5 and only allowed one player to catch 10 or more balls — Hopkins. Ramsey looks to build and improve off of last year’s disappointing season as he enters his fourth year in the NFL.

Ramsey has learned a lot in his 3 years in the NFL and looks to build upon his back to back pro bowl seasons to become even more dominant in his fourth season. Whether he likes it or not Ramsey is a leader on this Jaguars team. He will look to lead by example on the field with his play. 

A.J. Bouye

On the opposite side of Ramsey, the Jaguars have a returning starter, A.J. Bouye. A player that came over from Houston after his breakout campaign in 2016 turned into a major factor for the Jaguars’ success in 2017. Similar to Ramsey, Bouye’s play also regressed in 2018 but he remained one of the best corners in the league. 

Bouye accounted for 46 tackles, 1 interception, and 8 pass breakups. Along with the Jaguars defense as a whole, his biggest step back was the ability to force turnovers from the opponent. In 2017, Bouye had six interceptions compared to just one in 2018. Not being able to track down the ball the same way he did a year prior made him a liability the opposing quarterback would attack. While Bouye is no slouch, he is without a doubt the weaker link for the outside in the Jaguars secondary. Last season, his passer-rating-allowed increased exponentially from 37.5 the year before 105.1 (via playerprofiler.com). His efficiency sharply decreased and he also missed 2 games last season. 

Bouye looks to bounce back from what many would call a down year from the talented corner out of the University of Central Florida. His focus will be to get back to his All-Pro form in 2019, as well as, push the new players in the Jaguars secondary to be the best player they can be to reach a common goal. 

Ronnie Harrison

Harrison is a second-year player out of Alabama who the Jaguars took in the third round of the 2018 draft. Standing at 6’2, Harrison is a tall, long safety that can cover lots of yardages and make big hits on receivers towards his part of the field. He has had some success in pass rush which may lead the Jaguars to experiment on downs where they want to get after the quarterback. But, if recent years have told us anything, Todd Wash will continue to rush the four down in any situation where you could bring pressure. 

A part of Harrison that can be a concern for the Jaguars is that he’s prone to allow the big play. Harrison is a very aggressive safety which causes him to bite on double moves or overrun routes he should be able to cover. His progression will be interesting to keep an eye on as he has a high football IQ when it comes to locating the football in the air. Harrison has the potential to make big plays in key situations as he showed briefly last season.

Jarrod Wilson

Wilson was signed by the Jaguars in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan. Working his way up within the Jaguars hierarchy, Wilson is poised to be the starting free safety after three years as a backup. 

While he hasn’t shown much on the field due to his lack of playing time over the last three seasons. Wilson has shown his hard work and dedication off the field to secure the opportunity to start this year. 

Paired with Ronnie Harrison deep in the secondary, the two young safeties look to pick up where Church and Gipson left off in 2017. Expect to see two players that fly around the field and contain deep routes for the Jaguars in 2019. 

D.J. Hayden

Hayden arrived from Detroit, after four years in Oakland, to Jacksonville in 2018 after the departure of Aaron Colvin to Houston. Hayden dealt with injuries the majority of his first year with the Jaguars and looks to get back on track this season. 

In the games he did play, Hayden combined for 43 tackles, one sack, and an interception. A low sample for a guy who played in just 10 games. Although only a small sample size, Hayden showed up in the games he did play in 2018. He will look to build off of those games and remain healthy in 2019.

The potential for Hayden to be a solid player in this defense is there, now it’s just the transition of being able to stay healthy and on the field that will tip the scale. 

Depth

While many players are battling for the spots behind these five men, a majority of them will not make the 53-man roster when the time rolls around. Players like Breon Borders, Savion Smith, Picasso Nelson Jr., Brandon Watson, and Tae Hayes will most likely have to earn their roster spot on special teams if they want to make it at all. 

The ones set to be backups at the corner position are Quenton Meeks and Tre Herndon. Both very talented players that can step in case of injury. Herndon earned his spot last year after an outstanding preseason and a heavy workload on special teams. His hard-hitting ability on returners turned enough eyes for the Jaguars to give him the go once again this season on the team. 

Quenton Meeks is a second-year player out of Stanford who continues to develop under the unspoken leadership of Ramsey. While not being a great leader in terms of vocal presence, the talent Ramsey possesses and skill on the field is leadership in itself. Learning from him will only help Meeks continue to grow as a backup for many years to come. 

At safety, long time backup Cody Davis looks to seal another spot behind Jarrod Wilson while C.J. Reavis looks to fill in behind Ronnie Harrison. Two backup safeties who have played big roles in special teams and therefore will make the roster over guys like Andrew Wingard, and Joshua Moon. 

There’s a time where coaches look less at how you can help the team as a third-string at your position and they start to look at how you can help the team get better on special teams. In this case, any player in the secondary that is not named as a starter will look to solidify their spot through special teams play. 

Be on the lookout for some names mentioned behind these players on special teams. The more you hear their name when Logan Cooke sends a bomb into the air in the third quarter of a preseason game, the more likely they are to stay when the regular season rolls around. 

All players listed on the depth chart prediction will impact the Jaguars in one way or another. Whether that be in the secondary or on special teams, all bring a unique skill set into 2019. 

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53 Man Roster

Jaguars 2019 position group breakdown: Running Backs

Brandon Carroll

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Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs down the field during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to their quarterback situation, the Jacksonville Jaguars have attempted to answer some questions in terms of the run game in this year’s offseason. Jacksonville went through a full remodel in an attempt to add veteran presence that can sustain the ground attack if injury strikes the team yet again in 2019. 

Two years ago, the Jaguars were a team that led the NFL in rushing at 527 attempts throughout the regular season. Nearly 50 carries ahead of any other team in the league. On those 527 attempted the Jaguars saw heights in production not seen since the Maurice Jones-Drew. 

That production staggered in yardage and overall sustainability of the offense with their lackluster quarterback play last season. This was all due to the injuries of star running back Leonard Fournette and the majority of the offensive line. Without Fournette, the Jaguars only accumulated half the yardage in 2018 Fournette produced in 2017 with T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde leading the affair. 

Being a strong part of the offensive system, the Jaguars win total saw a sharp decrease and the team swagger that carried them to the 2017 AFC playoffs had vanished.

Jacksonville looked to replenish their running back room and get back to the strong, effective run game they saw in 2017 that made them so successful. 

Adding Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Thomas Rawls and more through free agency, as well as, drafting former Temple running back, Ryquell Armstead the Jaguars made a good move in adding reliable to back up Fournette in the backfield. 

Projected Running Back Depth Chart:
*italicized indicates starter, underline indicates picked up via draft/free agency
Leonard Fournette, Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Ryquell Armstead.

Leading the pack coming into 2019 is Leonard Fournette. Fournette is a player that has all the major attributes to be a star player in the NFL if he could just stay healthy. Fournette missed eight games last season and seven due to injury which caused the Jaguars offense to stall in his absence. 

He is a player that combines strong downhill running with game-breaking speed. Abilities not many can combine nevertheless replace. He is a generational talent who looks to return to his rookie form in 2019. 

Fournette looks to be getting back on track this season and “refocused on football.” Him being able to stay on the field will be a huge plus for a Jaguars team that has struggled offensively for many years. 

The next two players on the depth chart are veteran backs Alfred Blue and Benny Cunningham. 

Blue being a signee from the Houston Texans roster and an experienced back who knows how to get yardage necessary to sustain drives. While receiving very little touches in the Houston offense he played the backup role well and was a reliable source of receiving out of the backfield.

Blue will be used more as a third-down back in the Jaguars offense. 

The same goes for Cunningham. Coming over from the Bears, which last season saw two top-caliber running backs in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen sharing carries, Cunningham got lost in the shuffle. Cunningham is a great receiving threat out of the backfield and can play solid minutes in his role on his new team. 

Having two players that can play roles, and play them well is vital for any team in the NFL. Taking fatigue and potential injury into account getting Cunningham and Blue was one of the more important moves the Jaguars made this offseason. The Jaguars acquired two reliable backs for new quarterback Nick Foles to work with on downs where Fournette is not in the game. 

Next on the team’s depth chart is the Jaguars 2019 fifth-round pick out of Temple, Ryquell Armstead. In his senior year, Armstead scored 13 touchdowns and averaged nearly 6.5 yards per carry. Armstead’s progression through his college career was a sight to see. After starting his career as a bulkier strong runner, Armstead slimmed down to become a more complete back and utilized his opportunity at Temple to make it to the NFL. 

Posting 2,987 yards and 34 touchdowns over his career, Armstead looks to carry on those impressive numbers at the next level. Armstead is a runner with great field vision and patience behind the line of scrimmage. He bursts through the open hole and is willing to lower the shoulder to gain extra yardage. Armstead says that he models his game after former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. 

He describes himself as an angry runner. “I run angry, I run violent. I look for contact— that’s something that makes me unique.” Armstead stated in an interview with CBS sports. 

The type of physical running Armstead brings to the table is something the Jaguars have had success within recent memory. That willingness to create contact and run hard for his team to succeed is an attribute any team would love to have with their running back. 

A player that very strongly resembles Leonard Fournette in terms of running style was a guy the Jaguars looked at as a potential steal in the fifth round. An aggressive, one-cut runner who can run over opponents or bounce it to the outside and take off down the sideline. 

Armstead had the second-fastest time in the 40-yard dash among eligible running backs at the 2019 NFL combine at 4.49 seconds. Being a player with blazing speed mixed with a downhill running style, Armstead could see minutes directly behind Fournette later in the season. Armstead is an intriguing prospect but his development as a pass-catcher out of the backfield will need to improve for him to solidify the playing time this season. 

While the Jaguars have many running backs on the roster, all of them cannot stay. Unless there is a huge jump of progression when training camp starts later in the month, Thomas Rawls and Taj McGowan have very little shot of making the team. 

After last season, the Jaguars have done whatever it takes to assure they have depth at this position. Being able to provide multiple sources of production is important for any team. By providing this depth, the Jaguars hope it can get the job done and they can return to the success seen in the running game just two seasons ago. 

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