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Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Tight End

Demetrius Harvey

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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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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Release Jamaal Charles, Promote Linebacker DeLuca

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released running back Jamaal Charles after trading for Carlos Hyde and have promoted Linebacker Nick DeLuca. Charles was brought in to be a change of pace back for the Jaguars after placing Corey Grant on season-ending injured reserve.

The Jaguars traded for Carlos Hyde last week making Charles expendable. Charles accounted for 7 yards on 6 caries for the Jaguars. He also added two catches for seven yards. Running back Leonard Fournette has not been ruled out to play this week either and will travel with the team to London according to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone.

Nick DeLuca is a rookie linebacker from NDSU. He was signed to the practice squad earlier in the season and has now been promoted due to the injury to linebacker Donald Payne. Payne will be out at least a couple of weeks with a knee injury.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Editorial: The Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin

Zach Goodall

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Oct 21, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) and forces a fumble during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In electing to stick with Blake Bortles as their starting quarterback, despite benching him for a poor performance against the Texans and watching his backup Cody Kessler vastly outperform him in the same game, the Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin.

Now sitting at a 3-4 record, on a three game losing streak, and in third place in the AFC South (the Titans own the tiebreaker for second place), it was clearly time for change to get this ship steered in the correct direction. Just seven weeks aggo, this Jaguars team was viewed as a potential Super Bowl contender. Right now, this team is projected to pick in the first half of the 2019 NFL Draft.

And they can’t blame anyone but themselves at this point.

“We can’t do s**t until we stop turning the ball over. Period. That’s just how it is,” head coach Doug Marrone said following the loss to the Texans. “…the first thing we’ve got to do is stop turning the damn ball over.”

In three consecutive games, the latest of which he barely played past halftime, Bortles has eight turnovers of his own: Five interceptions and three fumbles.

“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win,” Marrone stated in a release from the team after Bortles was named the team’s starter going forward.

What?

In a 24 hour period, Marrone has stated that, while turnovers are the Jaguars biggest issue, the player who is responsible for countless amounts of turnovers gives the team the best chance to win football games. That is the message that is being sent to this team, and the Jaguars fan base.

And the team isn’t happy. Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was quoted saying “It is no secret what’s going on here right now. Ain’t nobody going to say it because we can’t, but it ain’t no secret what’s going on and it ain’t right right now,” after the loss to the Texans. Given the circumstances, it’s hard to assume this was shade thrown at the quarterback situation.

Ramsey deleted a post of him and Bortles shaking hands on the field from his Instagram this morning.

Defensive tackle Abry Jones put the responsibility of the offenses deficiencies on the defense, quoted saying “We can’t let them [opposing offenses] score at all.”

The Jaguars have chosen to be complacent, and in doing so, this season will continue to plummet. The confidence is low heading into London this week, and the Eagles pass rush should have an easy job forcing Bortles into more poor decisions as this Jaguars team appears to be on track to a 3-5 record at their bye week.

This team was supposed go contend this year. At one point in September, the Jaguars had single digit odds to win the Super Bowl. But that is all in the rearview mirror, as the Jaguars have nailed their own coffin in naming Blake Bortles the starting quarterback of a team that is already beginning to implode.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars announce Blake Bortles will remain the starting QB

Zach Goodall

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Sep 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) attempts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

24 hours removed from his first career benching, where he was clearly outplayed by his own backup in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, Blake Bortles has been named the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, per the team.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced in a statement: “I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”

This comes under two hours removed from Marrone saying he had made his decision already but planned on addressing the team before releasing that information to the public. Bortles was benched after committing two turnovers against the Texans on Sunday, and Kessler completed 21/30 passes for 156 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his place.

Bortles has committed eight turnovers in the past three weeks.

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