The Jaguars have ended their mandatory minicamp and are officially into a five-week dead period when it comes to the NFL offseason.
As such, there is no better time than now to have an early projection for the 53-man roster. Are there too many cooks at the wide receiver, offensive line, and linebacker positions? That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but the Jaguars will need to choose wisely who they end up releasing.
Nick Foles, Alex McGough, Gardner Minshew
Thoughts: The Jaguars could roll into the season with two or three quarterbacks. Currently, I would lean towards them retaining all three as there are questions whether or not Minshew will make it through waivers. McGough is the current favorite to be Foles’ primary backup heading out of mandatory minicamp. Lee is nothing but a camp arm. This situation is very fluid.
Running Back (4)
Leonard Fournette, Ryquell Armstead, Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham
Thoughts: At running back, the Jaguars made sure to bring in as many as they could seemingly find. Rawls looked great during the offseason thus far, however with Blue performing well it will be hard for Rawls to make the team. Cunningham seems secured as the teams’ speed back as a contrast to Fournette, Armstead, and Blue.
Wide Receiver (6)
DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole, Terrelle Pryor Sr.
Thoughts: This is one of the Jaguars position groups with “too many cooks”. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing as talent has been lacking at the position for years, but it makes it a struggle to nail down who will make this team. At this point in the offseason, no one has really looked disappointing and at the same time, only a few have really stood out.
I fully expect Conley, Westbrook, Chark, and Lee to make it in some capacity. The only question with Lee will be whether or not he will start on the PUP list, which the guys — T Wigg and Filip Prus — discussed on a recent Locked On Jaguars podcast.
It will be rather interesting to see if UDFAs Tyre Brady, Dredick Snelson, or Michael Walker will make the team or if the Jaguars will go with veterans they know. One player to watch out for is C.J. Board who has been putting on a show thus far this offseason.
Tight End (4)
Geoff Swaim, Josh Oliver, James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack
Thoughts: Until we really see many standouts from the position it is hard to cut incumbent 53-man roster players O’Shaughnessy and Koyack. Oliver and Swaim are presumably locked to make the team. It will be interesting to see how UCF UDFA Michael Colubiale and former Tulane TE Charles Johnson perform during training camp.
Offensive Line (9)
Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jawaan Taylor, Will Richardson Jr., Josh Wells, Cedric Ogbuehi, Donnell Greene
Thoughts: The Jaguars have stacked this group after it was injury-riddled during the 2018 season. Without pads, it is hard to determine which fringe players will make it.
Will Richardson has moved around during the offseason at guard and tackle and could prove to be a valuable swing player moving forward. Wells, Ogbuehi, and Greene are possible depth players with Greene being the only rookie to make it besides Taylor along the offensive line.
Defensive Line (9)
Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus, Taven Bryan, Yannick Ngakoue, Abry Jones, Josh Allen, Lerentee McCray, Dawuane Smoot, Dontavius Russell
Thoughts: I really wasn’t quite sure what direction the Jaguars would go at this position. It is hard to determine who is really playing well without pads on.
The first six or seven players listed are practically locked to make the team with McCray as a special teams player. Smoot, Russell, and Jones will be competing for a few spots with Eli Ankou, Michael Hughes, Andrew Williams, and Kalani Vakameilao. The Jaguars could keep 10 here instead and opt to go lighter at another position, potentially.
Myles Jack, Jake Ryan, Quincy Williams, Leon Jacobs, Ramik Wilson, Najee Goode
Thoughts: Myles Jack will be the Jaguars starting middle linebacker until further notice, and that’s about all we really know about the Jaguars linebacker group. With Jake Ryan returning during training camp it will be interesting to see where the Jaguars place him. The Jaguars could place him at the SAM position ahead of Leon Jacobs.
This is another position the Jaguars added plenty of players to during the offseason and it will be really difficult to figure out where everyone is playing. Thus far during the offseason, Ramik Wilson and Quincy Williams have been competing at weakside linebacker.
A.J. Bouye, Jalen Ramsey, D.J. Hayden, Quenton Meeks, Tre Herndon
Thoughts: This group is pretty cut-and-dry until proven otherwise. Meeks has played plenty of starter reps with Jalen Ramsey missing most of OTAs, and Herndon has always been well-liked by Jaguars staff. He will be the favorite to backup nickel corner D.J. Hayden.
Ronnie Harrison, Jarrod Wilson, Cody Davis, C.J. Reavis
Thoughts: Cody Davis is an ace special teams player, and will likely make the team with Ronne Harrison and Jarrod Wilson starting at free and strong safety. Reavis is competing with incoming UDFAs Zedrick Woods and Andrew Wingard. The final safety spot will likely be finalized during the preseason.
Special Teams (3)
Logan Cooke, Josh Lambo, Matt Overton
Thoughts: Not many thoughts needed here. Lambo and Cooke played well, especially for Cooke down the stretch. Overton has been on and off the Jaguars roster ever since Carson Tinker injured his knee a couple of seasons ago. He officially has landed the starting long snapper position.
Jaguars vs. Titans preview: Keys to success, matchups to watch
Distractions, distrust, disobedience. The Jaguars will have to overcome it all in order to gain a victory on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
This week, the Jaguars will play host to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. Typically, an 0-2 team facing their archnemesis would have nothing but the game on their minds — especially in a short week. This week, however, has been derailed due to the unexpected trade request by cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
As the Jaguars are wont to do, they have positioned themselves in a terrible spot, and have no one to blame but themselves as to why Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville. First, however, they have a game to play.
Game Time info
- When: Thursday, September 19th, 8:20 PM ET
- Watch: NFL Network, CBS47 locally (click)
- Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM
Five Keys to Success
- Stay healthy
Staying healthy is still the theme of the season. Luckily for the Jaguars, they are getting healthy just in time for their most important matchup of the season against the Titans. Cornerback A.J. Bouye (hip), left tackle Cam Robinson (knee), and swing tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) should all be good to go for tonight.
- Contain Derrick Henry
The Jaguars are well aware of the 99-yard touchdown run that embarrassed the team last season. While they are all sick and tired of seeing it, the team will still need to be fully aware of Titans running back Derrick Henry’s presence. Containing him, as they have done sometimes in the past will go a long way to winning this football game.
- Don’t get distracted
This team cannot afford to get distracted. At 0-2, tonight’s game becomes a must-win and getting distracted by the ongoing trade rumors surrounding their star cornerback should not affect them. The players say they are focused on the task at hand but will need to prove it.
- Figure out the offensive line
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday during his post-practice press conference that Cam Robinson and A.J. Cann will be starting tonight at left tackle and right guard, respectively. However, Marrone also indicated that he would not be surprised if guard/tackle Will Richardson and swing-tackle Cedric Ogbuehi get some playing time. The Jaguars need to figure out their five best offensive linemen and play them for the remainder of the season.
- Free Gardner Minshew
Last week the Jaguars let rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew loose for the final possession of the game. This week, they will need to let him loose the entire game. There’s no reason to have kid gloves on Minshew anymore. The running game has been almost nonexistent the first two weeks of the season, and the offensive line is finally getting healthy. Let Minshew-mania rock the bank tonight, and hope the “Souther Swagger” connection between himself and receiver DJ Chark, continues.
- Myles Jack vs. Derrick Henry
It is well documented what went down during their last matchup, and one player who is well aware of the Play? Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack. Jack was one of the key players who missed multiple tackles on Henry during the teams’ last meeting. Jack will need to be on his A-game tonight as the Titans absolutely will look to recreate it.
Derrick Henry with 99-yard run!pic.twitter.com/G16Oz96gPS
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 7, 2018
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Jalen Ramsey
This is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but the Jaguars will need to have the disgruntled corner reeled in for the game tonight. There is no doubt Jalen Ramsey does not want to become a distraction, however, he simply is. If he can go out and play at a high level — as he has done for the past 50 games — the Jaguars should be in good shape tonight.
- Jaguars offensive line vs. Titans pass rushers
The Titans pass rush is nothing to scoff at. Newly acquired outside linebacker Cameron Wake already has 2.5 sacks on the season, and will be looking for more against a rusty left tackle in Robinson. The Jaguars offensive line is still in flux and dealing with Wake and Titans defensive tackle Jurell Casey will be a tough task.
Players to watch
Gardner Minshew — The rookie quarterback is looking to build off of his impressive late-game heroics last week against the Houston Texans, and an impressive week one performance. The Jaguars will need to keep the rookie grounded, but allow him to play his game all the same.
Jalen Ramsey — Just keep an eye out here. Does Ramsey continue business-as-usual or does his antics during last week’s game — which ultimately led to his trade demand — continue? Our guess is Ramsey plays as if nothing is going on away from the field as he typically has.
This could be Ramsey’s last game — or more likely last home game — in a Jaguars uniform. Fans will have some mixed emotions, however, there is no argument about how much Ramsey has meant to this franchise over the past three seasons.
It is still baffling the Jaguars organization allowed it to get to this point, but here we are.
Leonard Fournette — Fournette has to play better than he did against the Houston Texans. Although he impressed with a couple of receptions, his play on inside runs left a lot to be desired. The Titans have the worst missed tackle percentage through two weeks this season (26%), and Fournette along with the Jaguars must take advantage.
It is worth noting that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo told members of the media on Tuesday he does not mind the number of repetitions Fournette has received. That trend should continue today. Last week, Fournette played on 65/67 offensive snaps.
Cam Robinson — The Jaguars offensive tackle will make his regular-season debut tonight playing for the first time in over a year. Robinson told Locked On Jaguars after practice on Wednesday while there will be some rust, he is excited and anxious to finally get out on the field.
Official game prediction: Jaguars 24, Titans 21 — Jaguars somehow overcome all the distractions and rally around their rookie quarterback.
FILM ROOM: Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is building a résumé
Drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is growing into the number one receiver the team envisioned.
After recording only 14 receptions for 174 yards during his rookie year, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is slowly turning into a legitimate go-to receiver for the Jaguars. Only two games into the 2019 season, Chark has already accumulated 11 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Hard work and dedication to his craft during the offseason is beginning to pay off. The young receiver believes his confidence level is growing. “A lot,” Chark told Locked On Jaguars when asked about how much his confidence level has grown. “Just from knowing where to be, when to be there. Knowing the offense. Knowing the routine. All that helped me out a lot.”
Every offseason, while players work on everything, they typically hone in on one specific area. For Chark? “My routes. That’s the biggest thing,” Chark said. “Getting in-and-out of breaks, understanding my playbook, and just tweaking small things in my game.”
While the second-year wide receiver is confident heading into week three, he knows there’s a lot he needs to do to get better. “I think I’ve been doing well, but I haven’t had a perfect game,” Chark said when asked if he was satisfied with his game. “A lot to work on, a lot to get better at. Also we 0-2. A lot we need to work on, so not satisfied, no.”
Typically, it takes about a year for a receiver to truly get into a rhythm as far as the speed of the game, knowing where to be, how to be there, and all of the little things that a receiver needs to understand. Chark has seemingly met at least some of those goals, and while he still has a lot to work on, the first two weeks into the 2019 season has been a fantastic start.
Last week against the Houston Texans, Chark accounted for seven receptions (nine targets) for 55 yards and a touchdown. The two incompletions came on an overthrown ball from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, and a fantastic pass breakup made by Texans’ cornerback Lonnie Johnson.
Chark has built a close bond with the Minshew. Something he says is due to the “southern swagger.” Minshew was born and raised in Mississippi while Chark was born and raised in Louisianna. “We from the south,” Chark said when asked about the chemistry the two have together. “It just works that way.”
The two will hope to continue growing together as a dynamic duo over the course of the season.
Shortly after the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was very complimentary of the second-year receiver out of Louisiana State University stating, “I think it’s consistency…He’s a guy that can go in there and make plays and someone that is going to keep getting better and better.”
The team hopes Chark continues to show promise as the season progresses. Having ready-made chemistry with Minshew certainly helps.
Onto the film room:
Thoughts: Probably the best aspect of Chark’s game is his ability to travel from one side of the field to the other effortlessly, and with speed. Chark ran a 4.34 40-yard dash during the combine in 2018, and it shows on the crossing route ran against the Texans last week.
During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo complimented the receiver on how much work he is putting in running all over the field.
What might seem simple at first glance, Chark does a fantastic job at maintaining inside leverage with the corner while creating separation with his speed. The reception itself illustrates a consistency with his hands — something receiver had not been able to find throughout his football career.
Thoughts: Chark made good on his “southern swagger” connection on Sunday. The Louisiana native breaks on his crossing route and follows Minshew throughout to give the rookie quarterback a clear, and clean opening for a would-be game-tying touchdown. The growth and maturity in his game is obvious.
DeFilippo agrees with Chark’s opinion that his confidence is certainly growing. “He’s running across on the touchdown pass and he points up to the sky like they put it up for me,” DeFilippo said when speaking about Chark on Tuesday.
Once again, Chark uses his hands to haul in a perfectly placed football thrown by his rookie quarterback. With his confidence level rising, as DeFilippo points out, the skies the limit.
Thoughts: Against soft coverage, Chark does a fantastic job at selling the nine-route while transitioning to a stop-route just after the first-down marker. In years past Chark likely either runs the wrong route or is too hesitant at the line to sell a deep route. Now, with a full understanding of the playbook and his position, he can just run freely.
Thoughts: On his most impressive play of the game, Chark shows off his insane body control and hands catching. This is a complete 180 from his play last season when Chark was inconsistent in both areas.
The ball from Minshew comes is a beauty. Perhaps slightly earlier than he’d necessarily like, but the moment Chark turns around to look for the ball and makes a perfect adjustment in the air to make the grab on first-and-ten.
The play Minshew missed on. Depending on the move Chark would have put on Texans’ safety Tashuan Gipson this goes for six.
Chark will hope to continue the path to becoming the Jaguars number one receiver on Thursday when the team plays host to their division rival Tennessee Titans. Chark knows how important this game is coming off of a short week against a division opponent.
“It’s pretty big,” Chark said. “But I’m excited. Quick turnaround from Sunday. It’s football — going out there with my offense. Can’t wait.”
Jaguars Wednesday injury report: Bouye listed as questionable
On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Jaguars released their final injury report before their game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars are getting ready to play after an eventful week of reports surrounding the organization. They look to stay grounded and salvage a season that look to be in for a steep decline if they can’t pull out a win in week three.
Final Week three injury report:
- There is a multitude of players back on the field this week after missing time for the Jaguars throughout the first two games. This includes the likes of Cam Robinson, who will be starting at left tackle and Yannick Ngakoue. Backup swing tackle Cedrick Ogbuehi and wide receiver Marquise Lee are also ready to return to the playing field if their number is called.
- A.J. Bouye is officially listed as questionable ahead of Thursday nights action. The Jaguars expect to have Bouye back after he missed week two with a hip injury. As he continues to work out the minor kinks and get back into football form, Tre Herndon will prepare to go in case Bouye is once again absent.
- Two players that are officially listed as out are first-time Jaguars, Josh Oliver, and D.J. Alexander. Oliver went down in training camp with a hamstring injury and continues to battle with that issue. There is no timetable for when Oliver will be able to return but he would sure help a struggling tight end group.
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