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Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Tight End

Demetrius Harvey



May 22, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Niles Paul (81) runs during organized team activities at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars tight end group is one of the more fluid position groups on the team. The group has been completely revamped this season adding tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jets), and Niles Paul (Redskins) in free agency. The Jaguars opted to not address the position at all in the 2018 NFL draft.

Last season the tight-end group consisted of Ben Koyack, James O’Shaughnessy, and Marcedes Lewis. The group accounted for a total of 79 catches, for 505 yards and six touchdowns.

In a somewhat surprising move this offseason the Jaguars released 12-year veteran Marcedes Lewis to clear cap space and give Seferian-Jenkins and Paul the opportunity to share more of the workload at that position. I broke down what ASJ can provide for the Jaguars here.

So, how will the Jaguars tight-end depth chart look this year?

Projected tight-end depth chart

*Note: Italics = starter, Underline = Acquired in 2018 FA/Draft

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Niles Paul/Ben Koyack, James O’Shaughnessy

Last season the Jaguars carried 3-4 tight-ends throughout the entire season, and here I am projecting them to do the same with ASJ, Paul, Koyack, and O’Shaughnessy. The Jaguars this offseason have been working towards building the offense from the middle of the field out, and ASJ is one of the better middle-of-the-field tight-ends in the NFL. According to Mike Kaye of First Coast News, Blake Bortles and ASJ have built a rapport during OTAs this May/June.

The bulk of the snaps for the tight end group will most likely come from ASJ and either Niles Paul or Ben Koyack. Koyack, last season only accounted for 5 receptions for 38 yards, however he accounted for 413 snaps which was 16% more snaps than O’Shaughnessy accounted for at 236. As of right now I would project Koyack to remain the TE2 strictly for his blocking, as when Lewis departed that left a major void in that area.

The Jaguars really like what James O’Shaughnessy can bring to the table as a receiver within the group. However, he currently is listed fourth on my projected depth chart only because of the limited amount of work he has with Blake Bortles as well as the offense in general. He was acquired last season off waivers from the New England Patriots, and was rarely used in the Jaguars offense. This season, however he could see his snap count as well as targets go up as the major focus for the offense will be within the middle of the field.

Niles Paul will be focusing most of his efforts on special teams, as that was the primary role for him with the Redskins after his devastating ankle injury a few seasons ago. However, do not be fooled, he has shown ability in the receiving game and should provide a sort of H-back type role like James O’Shaughnessy.

The Jaguars major focus this off season has been essentially rebuilding the weapons on offense, particularly at any receiver position, whether that be wide receivers or tight ends. For the 2018 season look for the Jaguars to utilize the middle of the field more often than they have before as they finally have tight-ends who specialize in that area. While Julius Thomas did not work out for the Jaguars a couple of seasons ago, ASJ seems to be a more hungry and talented threat and should provide a massive upgrade in the position group.

Check out our previous roster breakdowns for wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks.

Demetrius Harvey is a Locked on Jaguars writer focusing on game breakdowns as well as breaking news. Demetrius is a lifelong Jaguars fan. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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