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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

New York Jets Call Jaguars About Dante Fowler Jr.

Zach Goodall

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The New York Jets appear to be interested in trading for a pass rusher, and have reportedly called the Jacksonville Jaguars about fourth year DE Dante Fowler Jr.’s availability, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Fowler Jr. offers potential as a full-time EDGE, as he has accumulated 12 sacks (14, including postseason) as a rotational pass rusher over the past two years. The Jaguars selected Fowler Jr. with the third

However, Fowler Jr. has a history of drama. He was most recently suspended for a week for fighting in practice, and will miss Week 1 due to a suspension for a misdemeanor battery charge from 2017.

We wrote last week that the Jets would be a team that’d make most sense if Fowler Jr. was on the trade block, which you can read here.

We will update this story as details emerge.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Victorious Over Vikings Despite Penalties, Lack of Offense

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) reacts to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Game recap

The Jacksonville Jaguars took their talents to Minnesota this week, facing the Vikings in their second preseason game after a week of joint practices.

Before the game, several Jaguars starters were ruled out including TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Jalen Ramsey (suspension), FS Tashaun Gipson, LG Andrew Norwell, RT Jeremy Parnell, and DT Marcel Dareus. DE Taven Bryan, FS Cody Davis, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (suspension), LB Brooks Ellis, DE Dawuane Smoot, and DT Eli Ankou would also not play.

The game started off quickly as the Jags defense was able to get an instant three and out against Kirk Cousins’ Vikings. The defensive line has never looked better, and although Dareus was out, they still stood up strong against the Vikings offensive line creating penetration all game, sacks, and forced fumbles. At the end of it all Kirk Cousins ended his day going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards.

It is fair to say, however, both first team offenses struggled mightily during the game.

The Jaguars first two offensive drives went about as poor as they could have. Following a three and out, Blake Bortles threw his first interception of the preseason. He seemingly did not see Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith right in front of the receiver on the play. Nevertheless, the Jaguars offense was finally able to piece together a decent drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette later on.

Blake Bortles and most of the Jaguars starting players would play the entire first half. Even still, besides the early touchdown by Fournette, the Jaguars could not get anything done. A lot of the Jaguars struggles were due to penalties. 10 penalties for 100 yards in the first half alone and a key holding call on a Dede Westbrook would-be 51-yard punt return was nullified. Blake and the Jaguars offense could not get much of anything going all day long and that would be the theme for the day, for both teams.

The play of the game came very late in the 4th quarter when wide receiver Rashad Greene took a punt 51-yards to the Vikings 4-yard line, setting up a game-winning touchdown by Brandon Wilds. After the Vikings got the ball back, the Jaguars backups needed a stop on defense to win the game. On the Vikings last drive of the game, the Jaguars defense got yet another stop, this time on 4th down to win the game.

Three plays of the game

  • DE Yannick Ngakoue does his best Key and Peele impersonation after his sack. He should know better than to do 3-pumps, but this was pretty funny.

  • After the Blake Bortles interception, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson was able to force a fumble on the Vikings running back Latavius Murray. The Jaguars defensive line came to play.
  • Logan Cooke made one of the most beautiful punts I have seen a Jaguars punter make in years. From around the Jaguars 45-yard line, the rookie punter punted 56 yards to the Minnesota 5 and the Jaguars special teams unit only allowed a 7-yard return from there. The Jaguars finally have a “weapon” in their punter.

Player of the Game

The player of the day is by far Yannick Ngakoue. This man came into this season on a clear mission: To seek and destroy. Ngakoue started the game off strong with a sack, although nullified because of a celebration penalty afterward, the defensive end made his presence known from the very start. For much of the game, Ngakoue kept the pressure on and was consistently in the Vikings backfield. He was a part of jackson’s forced fumble after Bortles’ interception. If this game is any indication, Ngakoue could very well be an all-pro.

Final Whistle

For most of the game, the Jaguars just couldn’t get anything going on offense..  The biggest issue with the Jaguars today was their inability to overcome penalties. The team accounted for a total of 13 penalties 140 yards.

The bright spot for the Jaguars was easily their defense for both the starters and the backups. They held Kirk Cousins to only 12 yards on 8 passes, and the Vikings backups barely made any plays of note. The Jaguars offense, particularly the starters, will need to have a much better game next week as they head into their regular season warm up against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs Vikings: Game Preview and Information

Ruairi Songer

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Dec 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (left) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (right) pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys at EverBank Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Thursday, 8/17/18 @ 1pm EST, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30, NFL Network, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.

Preview:

The Jaguars and Vikings joint practice sessions have come to a close, the two teams will meet on the field to end the second week of preseason. The Jaguars and Vikings are similar teams in many ways, as both possess fearsome defensive units and solid running attacks. With that being said, here’s a few things to watch for in Saturday’s game:

Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.

Bortles’ play and development will be a reoccurring story-line each week, but Saturday will bring his biggest test of the preseason. After an impressive training camp and first preseason game against the Saints, Bortles had a couple of rough outings during joint practice sessions, going 4/13 during 11 on 11 drills on day one.

The Vikings defense, while tough, is a blessing for the Jaguars offense and Blake. The match-up gives Bortles the chance to test a historically good passing defense, without any regular season record implications. He has the opportunity to take chances, learn from his mistakes, and compete against several All-Pro defensive backs such as Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

Cam Robinson will be put to the test against feisty Vikings edge rushers, mainly Danielle Hunter, who has recorded 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vikings All-Pro DE Everson Griffen will most likely be inactive for Saturday’s game due to an infected leg wound.

Robinson’s play seems to be improving from 2017, which could, along with the addition of Andrew Norwell, elevate the Jaguars’ offensive line to being a top unit in the league.

The continuing battle for the nickel cornerback spot seems to be leaning in the favor of D.J. Hayden, after he intercepted Kirk Cousins in a joint practice session earlier in the week. With the absence of suspended CB Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Patmon should get the go-ahead at outside corner, giving Hayden plenty of snaps in the slot. He will be tasked with covering Adam Thielen, one of the better slot receivers in the league. A solid showing for Hayden would help cement his spot at nickel corner.

Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook may see his first action of 2018, pending on a decision by Vikings HC Mike Zimmer. The former Seminole had a promising start to his rookie year before going down with an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. Cook would be an interesting test for the Jaguars DL and LB corps, namely SAM LB Leon Jacobs, who shined in run defense against the Saints.

WR Rashad Greene’s job may be in jeopardy after muffing a punt against the Saints in week one. If Greene is still turnover-prone as a punt returner, he will have to find success as a receiver to make it past roster cuts. Look for Shane Wynn or Dede Westbrook to also see time as punt returners.

 

 

 

 

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