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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gems to Jags: A Look into Defensive Rookie Free Agency

Filip Prus



NFL Draft Sleeper CB Darious Williams

Jaguars Rookie Free Agency Recap

Nov 19, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (11) runs with the ball after a catch as Cleveland Browns strong safety Briean Boddy-Calhoun (20) defends during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In last week’s Offensive Rookie Free Agency article, we took a deep-dive into how the Jaguars have fared in recruiting undrafted free agents during the Dave Caldwell era. While the Jaguars certainly have an eye for identifying talent that slips through the NFL Draft cracks, they have also allowed some gems to get loose, especially in 2016.


After spotlighting some potential under-the-radar guys on offense that the Jaguars could potentially invite to rookie camp, below is a Defensive All-Rookie Free Agent Team of players who currently project as priority free agents that would fit what the Jaguars demand from their scheme.


Early 2018 All-UDFA Team: Defense

DE Brian Womac (Rice)

Womac starred as a WILL hybrid LB/DE in Rice’s 4-2-5 defense and would be ideally suited for the LEO defensive end role. Womac looks like an old-NFL Blitz throwback player with ripped arms, taped up wrists and no gloves, but looks can be deceiving. Womac wins with an extremely quick first step off the line, which he pairs with impressive hip flexibility and bend. Womac has a gift for timing the snap, and he utilizes a savvy rip under move to win the leverage battle around the tackle as well as an inside spin move that he uses to get bigger offensive tackles off of their pass sets. To top off his snap timing and technique, Womac plays with an exceptional motor and his refined hand usage has allowed him to accrue ten sacks and 21 TFLs in 2017 alone.


DT Dee Liner (Arkansas State)

I mean, bring him in for the name alone, right? Liner is a massive 337-pound nose tackle who could be the next Abry Jones-type guy to make the team as an undrafted player as a 1-technique. If Liner’s name sounds familiar to you, it’s because he was the number 4 defensive tackle recruit coming out of high school and initially committed to Alabama before transferring to Arkansas State in 2015. Liner has impressive athleticism and movement skills for his size, however, his job is to occupy blocks and free up space for second-level defenders. Liner could be a developmental guy who the Jaguars could perceive as insurance if Marcell Dareus ends up a cap casualty following the 2018 season.


DT Mike Ramsay (Duke)

Listed at 6’2” 280 pounds, Mike Ramsay is the disruptive penetrating 3-technique that this team may need to reload on after allowing Sheldon Day to join the 49ers mid-season. Ramsay was the lone returning starter to the Blue Devils defensive line and was a big reason why talented LB Joe Giles-Harris looked so good in space this season. Ramsay’s quick first step and revving motor allowed him to accumulate 5.5 sacks on the season rushing from the interior and beating double teams. A native of Smyrna, GA, Ramsay has gotten better every year playing under Head Coach David Cutcliffe, and his 107 career tackles are ample production from the interior position.


DE Jalen Wilkerson (Florida State)

While the decision for redshirt sophomore Jalen Wilkerson to declare for the draft was a peculiar one, a team like the Jaguars could benefit from the fact he likely will go undrafted. At 6’4”, 278 pounds, Wilkerson’s body-type is well suited to play the strong-side defensive end position that Calais Campbell currently dominates. Wilkerson was a 4-star tight end in high school and has an abundance of untapped athleticism that can be unlocked by defensive line coach Marion Hobby. If Wilkerson is going to succeed anywhere, a team full of fellow Seminoles and defensive leaders like Campbell is likely his most ideal landing spot.


MLB Al-Rasheed Benton (West Virginia)

Benton was one of the unquestioned leaders of the Mountaineers defense who has been described as “a coach’s dream” by the West Virginia defensive staff. Benton boasts a compact, strong core and powerful pythons that he uses to drag down ball carriers in the open field routinely. Benton possesses an exceptional motor and is always in the camera frame at the conclusion of every play, whether it is in the offensive backfield or 35 yards downfield chasing a broken run. Benton is disciplined with his eyes in zone coverage and is also a monster at penetrating A-Gaps as a Blitzer. Benton’s mental makeup, athleticism, and toughness could make him a logical roster replacement for Paul Posluszny as a back up middle linebacker where he would be a special teams maven from day one.


WLB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky)

“Joey I” is a fourth-year Junior who is ubiquitous when you put on the film. Iyiegbuniwe flashes outstanding foot speed, acceleration, and change of direction ability that allows him to be just as effective in coverage as he is attacking downfield. Before the snap, Iyiegbuniwe can be seen barking out assignments to his teammates and is responsible for all communication and alignment for the Hilltoppers defense. Iyiegbuniwe is a violent tackler, and his sideline-to-sideline range and speed would be an outstanding depth piece to Telvin Smith in the event of injury. Look for Iyiegbuniwe to blow up the Combine in Indianapolis and perhaps force someone to burn a late rounder on his rare speed at the position.


SLB Mason McKenrick (John Carroll University)

With Division 3 school John Carroll University being Dave Caldwell’s alma mater, you have to think he has the scoop on linebacker Mason McKenrick. The 2016 D3 First-Team All-American was only 135 pounds as a freshman playing at Mentor High School in Ohio and now looks like he doesn’t have an ounce of body fat on his 6’4”225-pound frame. McKenrick possesses the outstanding length and motor to play near the line of scrimmage to contribute as a Blitzer and also possesses the dexterity and lateral control to mirror receivers in coverage. McKenrick’s unique size/speed combination would make him a candidate to play the Sam LB in the Jaguars defense.


CB Darious Williams (University Alabama-Birmingham)

Darious Williams is the best CB you’ve never heard of. Or maybe you have since Williams is a Jacksonville native who played his high school ball at Creekside. Williams is a prince in press coverage, where he punches WRs off of their route stem and quickly flips his hips to turn and run in-phase, mitigating separation off the release. Williams also shows terrific ball skills and doesn’t sacrifice positioning when tracking flighted balls along the boundary. In 2017, Williams led Conference USA in pass deflections (15) and finished #2 in interceptions (5). The tape is limited on Williams, as 2017 was his first season playing since the UAB football program folded after Williams’ freshman season in 2014. Despite receiving offers from Troy, Southern Miss, and South Alabama following the 2014 season, Williams chose to stay at UAB and hope that their football program would return, as was the case this season.


CB Eric Jenkins (North Texas)

A transfer from Los Angeles Valley Community College, Eric Jenkins won’t wow you with his measurables or his sleight frame. He will, however, leave an impression with his mind and feel for the CB position. Jenkins is a cerebral player who recognizes offensive alignments and won’t get fooled by a play twice due to his excellent semantic memory. Jenkins is an incredibly patient player who times his challenges well, allowing him to consistently make plays despite his lack of prototypical length (listed at 5’10” 180 pounds). Jenkins plays bigger than he is, showing urgency in making plays downfield and continually sniffing out screens and tosses behind the line of scrimmage, as well as exhibiting good functional strength to fight through WR blocks and make plays in run support.


Nickel CB Ramon Richards (Oklahoma State)

Although Ramon Richards played as a free safety in Oklahoma State’s defense, his best position in the NFL will be as a Nickel CB where he can line up closer to the line of scrimmage. In Man coverage, Richards shows good play strength at the catch point and does an excellent job of wrapping his body around the WR to time his stabs with the arrival of the football and avoid penalties. In Zone coverage, Richards does a great job of reading the QB’s eyes and crashing routes to consistently make plays on the football, including a game-winning interception in overtime vs. Texas and picking off Will Grier with savvy baiting vs. West Virginia. Richards’ biggest weakness is open-field tackling against shiftier runners, but hopefully lining up in the Slot and limiting open-field situations will allow him to showcase his playmaking abilities more consistently.


SS Ezekiel Turner (Washington)

At 6’2” 214 pounds, Turner has the ideal size to play strong safety in the Jaguars defense. In 13 games this season, the Maryland-native posted 55 tackles from the secondary and stepped up into a leadership role after the departure of Budda Baker to the NFL. Turner was also named Special Teams Player of the Week in this year’s Apple Cup vs. Washington State, where he would likely ply his trade were he to make the Jaguars roster.


FS Secdrick Cooper (Louisiana Tech)

A late in-week addition to the Senior Bowl roster in Mobile, the former Bulldog, impressed right off the plane registering an impressive interception in 1v1 drills. Cooper lined up as the single-high FS in Louisiana Tech’s multiple 4-3 defensive schemes where he showcased his size and stout body composition in coverage and run support. Cooper is a fluid athlete who looks like he is dancing on his backpedal with complete body control and hip flexibility. In run support, Cooper is a reliable open-field tackler with proper technique, and he marries a physical hitter’s mentality with consistency in wrapping up.

Filip is a Locked On Jaguars contributor who focuses on Offseason and Draft topics. Filip is the creator of, a collegiate scouting website that encompasses formula NFL roster grading as well as his graphic design portfolio. Filip also works as a Big 12/Conference USA Regional Area Scout for Optimum Scouting and is responsible for compiling OS’ advanced analytics for Wide Receivers. Filip is a University of South Carolina alum, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Sports Management and was a four-year captain for the Gamecocks Club Soccer team as a Goalkeeper. Filip currently lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with his wife, Katelyn, and two very good dogs, Balto and Daisy, working as a Special Investigator for the U.S. State Department.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

What should the Jaguars do at linebacker with Myles Jack?

Demetrius Harvey



Oct 14, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (44) warms up prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the unexpected leave of absence by Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, the Jaguars have found themselves in a precarious situation. Telvin Smith had been the Jaguars starting weak-side linebacker since his rookie year in 2014. Starting 69 games since 2014 Smith has accumulated a total of 445 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and nine interceptions.

The Jaguars are going to absolutely struggle to replace his production, regardless of how anyone felt about how he played during the 2018-2019 season. The first name which comes to mind in discussing what should happen at the weak-side linebacker position is Myles Jack.

Prior to 2018, Jack started all over the field for the Jaguars. During the 2017 season, Jack was the Jaguars starting middle linebacker in nickel situations — splitting time with former Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny in base formations. Finally being allowed to start full time for the Jaguars, Jack had a solid season by all accounts accumulating 107 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception — his best season statistically as a Jaguar.

One of the primary issues the Jaguars have had on defense has been communication issues. Communication issues can come from any level of the defense, however, the middle linebacker is essentially the quarterback. He calls the plays in the huddle or just prior to the snap, and lines everyone up. Having someone more experienced or as experienced as Jack at this position is crucial. This begs the question — should Myles Jack move to weak-side linebacker?

Jack recently spoke out against the idea of moving to Will talking to John Reid of and other local media members at Calais Campbell’s second annual bowling classic event, “I’m playing Mike ’backer, there’s no question about it,” Jack stated. “Obviously, there’s no secret we’re going to have to find a Will (weak-side linebacker). As for me, I’m playing Mike until my time up here in Jacksonville is done.″

It is completely understandable why Jack would not want to change positions as he has his entire career thus far in Jacksonville. The Jaguars should think long and hard about which configuration is best for the football team. Having to throw in someone new such as Jake Ryan immediately into the fray could potentially ruin any good momentum you already had at the position.

One of the best possible outcomes would be for rookie third-round pick Quincy Williams to win the weak-side linebacker battle outright. Although he is obviously very raw coming out of Murray State, the Jaguars stated in their post-draft presser that Williams has “starter traits”. If they have to move Jack, there will be potentially three completely new starters for the Jaguars at the linebacker positions on opening day. The Jaguars will likely want to keep the defense intact going into the 2019 season.

Jake Ryan was signed by the Jaguars earlier this offseason. And although he has plenty of experience at inside linebacker — two years starting with the Packers –, he is not even one year removed from a torn ACL. Not only will Ryan be behind in terms of on-field play, but he is also brand new to the Jaguars defense — although it is someone vanilla. All of the struggles Jack had at MLB last year may be amplified with Ryan this year.

Potential Starting Combinations:

WLB — Quincy Williams
MLB — Myles Jack
SLB — Jake Ryan


  • Myles Jack stays at one position for longer than a season
  • Jaguars can get Jake Ryan on the field in some capacity


  • Rookie weak-side linebacker

WLB — Quincy Williams
MLB — Myles Jack

SLB — Josh Allen


  • Myles Jack at a consistent position
  • Josh Allen playing a primary role on defense
  • The speed at the LB position


  • Lack of experience at two LB spots
  • Myles Jack possibly not at “natural” position

WLB — Myles Jack
MLB — Jake Ryan

SLB — Josh Allen


  • Myles Jack moves back to his natural position
  • Jake Ryan offers veteran experience and leadership at MLB position
  • Josh Allen gains experience at linebacker in year one


  • Myles Jack moving positions again
  • Jake Ryan first-year Jaguars MLB coming off a torn ACL


The Jaguars may feel the best configuration for their initial starting lineup at linebacker will be to allow Myles Jack to start his contract year at middle linebacker. Jack — having a full year starting at MLB — will be much more comfortable and allow the Jaguars to have some continuity at the position for the first time in three years. This leaves Quincy Williams as the starter at weak-side linebacker in his rookie year.

Whether it be Jake Ryan starting out at SAM or Josh Allen, the Jaguars should be happy about the production coming from the strong-side linebacker position. Josh Allen may not start out right away due to being primarily in a pass-rushing role during his rookie year, however — with experience –, he may be able to give the Jaguars no choice in the matter.

The most uncomfortable part of this formation would be the Jaguars starting two rookies on their defense. Inexperience on the Jaguars defense could be their Achilles heel. If the Jaguars were to start both rookies at linebacker, the Jaguars would have a combined 10 starts between four starters in the Jaguars defense. Jarrod Wilson and Ronnie Harrison have started 10 games together.

Whatever the Jaguars choose initially with their starting combination at linebacker, it could very easily be changed before the regular season begins. The Jaguars did not want to have to make this many changes to their defense in such a short period, however, Telvin Smith has forced their hand.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars workout free agent RB Mike Gillislee

Demetrius Harvey



Aug 9, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee (35) stiff arms Washington Redskins linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (51) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

As the Jaguars prepare to open up voluntary OTAs next week, they are still forming their ideal 90-man roster. A position which has been completely revamped has been the RB position. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jaguars brought in former Patriots and Saints RB Mike Gillislee for a workout.

Gillislee most recently played for the New Orleans Saints only seeing action in four games accumulating 43 yards on 16 attempts and zero touchdowns. His most successful season came as a member of the Buffalo Bills where he accumulated 576 yards on 101 attempts and nine touchdowns.

The Jaguars attempted to sign him last year, however, he signed with the Saints. The Jaguars may want to simply do their due diligence on a running back they had a prior interest in, just in case.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 53-Man Roster Prediction: Undrafted city of the south?

Connor Neal



Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A view of the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium during the second half of a football game at EverBank Field.The Green Bay Packers won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

May 9th was a busy day for the Jaguars. On top of Telvin Smith announcing that he will step away from football for the 2019 season, they also finalized their 90-man roster. I wanted to take a deeper dive into each position to see who will make the final roster. There is a lot of talent the Jaguars will have to part within these coming months.

I will be breaking down each position individually.

Quarterback (3): 

Nick Foles (Starter), Gardner Minshew (Backup), Alex McGough (3rd String)

The true battle here is between Alex McGough and Tanner Lee for a roster spot.

Runningback (4):

Leonard Fournette (Starter), Ryquell Armstead (Backup), Alfred Blue (3rd String), Benny Cunningham (4th String)

I believe Ryquell Armstead will earn the backup position to Leonard Fournette before the season starts. Once Fournette goes down with an injury, don’t be surprised if Armstead blows you away with his talent. Thomas Rawls isn’t likely to make the roster but the Jaguars could give him a roster spot over Benny Cunningham if they so choose.

Wide Receiver (6):

Dede Westbrook (Starter), Marqise Lee (Starter), Chris Conley (Starter), DJ Chark Jr (Backup), Keelan Cole (3rd String), Tyre Brady (4th String)

Tyre Brady is a player who could jeopardize Keelan Cole’s roster spot if he shines in rookie camp. Cole’s performance last year was disappointing, especially after he stood out as an undrafted rookie. Chris Conley, currently, is better than DJ Chark. DJ Chark has the potential to be a good starting wide receiver in the NFL, but he has to develop first.

Tight End (3):

Josh Oliver (Starter), Geoff Swaim (Backup), James O’Shaughnessy (3rd String)

Josh Oliver, Jaguars third-round pick out of San Jose State, will likely be the starter. However, because Oliver has virtually no blocking skills Geoff Swaim will be the lead blocking tight end on the team.

Offensive Tackle (4):

Cam Robinson (Starter), Jawaan Taylor (Starter), Will Richardson (Backup), Josh Wells (Backup)

There aren’t many surprises at this position. The Jaguars former second-round pick, Cam Robinson, and this year’s first-round pick, Jawaan Taylor, will be starters. Jawaan Taylor will compete with Will Richardson for the starting right tackle position. However, it shouldn’t be hard for Taylor to secure that starting spot.

Offensive Guard (4):

Andrew Norwell (Starter), AJ Cann (Starter), KC McDermott (Backup), Donnell Greene (Backup)

AJ Cann could make right guard the biggest need for the Jaguars this coming season. Cann is a bad offensive lineman, who will have the starting role because of lack of competition. It was surprising the Jaguars didn’t draft a guard during the 2019 NFL Draft. Keep an eye out for Donnell Greene, an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota.

Center (2):

Brandon Linder (Starter), Tyler Shatley (Backup)

Brandon Linder, a converted guard, has been outstanding thus far through his career as a center. His starting spot will not be at risk.

Defensive Tackle (5):

Calais Campbell (Starter), Marcell Dareus (Starter), Taven Bryan (Backup), Abry Jones (Backup), Dontavius Russell (3rd String)

In this scenario, I have the Jaguars pushing Calais Campbell inside to defensive tackle. If they chose to start Josh Allen at EDGE, Campbell should be pushed inside as he will beat out Taven Bryan with ease. It isn’t likely the Jaguars chose to do this, but if they do, their defensive line will be scary good.

Defensive End (4):

Yannick Ngakoue (Starter), Josh Allen (Starter), Dawuane Smoot (Backup), Lerentee McCray (Backup)

As I mentioned earlier, I have the Jaguars starting Josh Allen at EDGE instead of Campbell. If the Jaguars decide to start Campbell at EDGE, which is likely, Allen could start for the Jaguars at linebacker if they want to utilize him instantly.

Linebacker (5):

Myles Jack (Starter), Jake Ryan (Starter), Quincy Williams (Starter), Leon Jacobs (Backup), Joe Giles-Harris (Backup)

Quincy Williams, the shocking third-round pick, has a good chance to start since Telvin Smith will not play football in this upcoming season. If the Jaguars choose to play Josh Allen at linebacker, he would fit best at strong-side linebacker. So, they could shift Myles Jack over to weak-side linebacker and have Jake Ryan start at middle linebacker instead. If that happens, Quincy Williams will not start. Once Telvin Smith broke the news that he will not return this year, the chances of Joe Giles-Harris’s chances of making the roster skyrocketed. Giles-Harris is a player I personally would have been fine with the Jaguars taking in the third-round over Quincy Williams.

Cornerback (6): 

Jalen Ramsey (Starter), AJ Bouye (Starter), DJ Hayden (Starter), Quenton Meeks (Backup), Saivion Smith (Backup), Tre Herndon (3rd String)

The Jaguars starters here are incredible, that can’t be said about the depth. Quentin Meeks was an undrafted free agent last year who, last season, started in 1 game and played in 8. If the Jaguars chose to sign Saivion Smith and Tre Herndon after rookie camp, there would be 3 undrafted free agents that would be serving as the Jaguars depth. Two of those free agents, Meeks and Smith, were expected to be drafted in the mid rounds of their respective drafts.

Safety (4):

Ronnie Harrison (Starter), Jarrod Wilson (Starter), Cody Davis (Backup), Zedrick Woods (Backup)

Ronnie Harrison played great last season after he beat out Barry Church for the starting strong safety position. Jarrod Wilson is an intriguing player as he has only started 2 games for the Jaguar in his 3 years on the team. Free safety was a position many expected the Jaguars to address in the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Jaguars felt safe with Wilson as the starting free safety. Wilson has the potential to be a good starter, but we will have to wait and see how he turns out.

Kicker (1):

Josh Lambo (Starter)

Punter (1):

Logan Cooke (Starter)

Long snapper (1):

Matt Overton (Starter)

Kick Returner:

DJ Chark (Starter)

Punt Returner:

Dede Westbrook (Starter)

Moves I wouldn’t be shocked to see happen:

QB: Tanner Lee as the 3rd string quarterback over Alex McGough.

RB: Thomas Rawls beating out Benny Cunningham for the 4th string running back position.

WR: The Jaguars dropping Keelan Cole and keeping undrafted free agents Tyre Brady or Dredrick Snelson to fill in his role as a 3rd string wide receiver.

OL: Donnell Greene beating out AJ Cann for the starting right guard position before the season is over with.

DL: The Jaguars utilizing Josh Allen at both EDGE and linebacker.

LB: Joe Giles-Harris starting at weak-side linebacker over Quincy Williams.

CB: The Jaguars signing undrafted free agent Tae Hayes over fellow undrafted free agent Tre Herndon as the 3rd string cornerback.

S: The Jaguars choosing to keep Andrew Wingard over the speedster, Zedrick Woods, as a backup safety.

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