JAGUARS 53-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS
A major youth movement at QB: the Jaguars are rolling with Jake Luton, a rookie, as their primary backup quarterback. He had impressive moments in camp and outclassed Mike Glennon and Josh Dobbs.
Ryquell Armstead is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, so until he returns, these are three runners for the Jaguars. There's not much experience here outside out of Chris Thompson, but there's plenty of ability. Ozigbo and Robinson have impressed in training camp and were stars in college. The Jaguars are also bringing veteran running back Davonta Freeman in for a workout.
Miller has been impressive in camp, so much so that the Jaguars decided to roster a fullback. He won't be featured all the time, but when Miller's number is called he should be a helpful chess piece for Jay Gruden.
This group is chalk. With Josh Oliver on the IR with a broken bone in his foot, the Jaguars didn't have another tight end worth a roster spot. This group of three has plenty of talent from top to bottom and just the right combination of experience and youth.
The WR room also looks exactly as I expected it to. The only player here that hasn't done much in camp is Dede Westbrook, due to a shoulder injury. This is the most talented and deepest group on the roster.
This group also turned out exactly as I projected it. Eight offensive linemen is less than ideal, but because Bartch and Richardson can play any position on the line, it makes it a bit more palatable. Shatley can play all three spots on the interior.
The only "surprise" here is Costin, but he deserved to make the roster based on his performance on the interior during camp. He was difficult to block throughout the summer and played his way onto the team.
I didn't expect the Jaguars to keep Dakota Allen, although I probably should have. Coaches have raved about him since his arrival in Jacksonville in 2019 and he's played well in a reserve role. Quincy Williams will be placed on IR but will be allowed to return later in the season.
The Jaguars loved what they saw from former second-round pick Josh Jones this summer. He'll likely start next to Jarrod Wilson in week one. Wingard is a core special teamer and also had a good camp on defense. Brandon Watson is a converted cornerback that can play either spot. He had two straight solid camps for the Jaguars in '19 and '20.
The Jaguars are incredibly young and then at one of the most important positions in football. DJ Hayden will lock down the slot but Herndon and Henderson on the outside could have some growing pains at times. Barcoo played his way onto the team despite being an undrafted free agent. Claybrooks is the starting return man heading into the season. Veteran Tramaine Brock was placed on IR.
Undrafted rookie Matiscik beat out Matthew Orzech for the job.
The Jaguars have six rookies and a lot of second year players. The youth movement is on in Jacksonville. Whether or not it will yield the desired results remains to be seen.
On Saturday afternoon, general manager Dave Caldwell insisted this team is not in a rebuilding or tanking type season.
"We do and like I said before, let us play the season and don’t count these players out," said Caldwell. "I love this team. I love the energy this team brings. I love some of the veteran leadership we brought in with Joe Schobert [and] Tyler Eifert. We're not that young on offense. You have a guy like Chris Conley. The offensive line has all played a lot of games together. Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, we have guys. DJ Chark Jr. So, don't count this team out yet and I think they’ll tell you the same thing. We can’t afford a rebuilding year and tha'’s not our mindset. Our mindset is to put the best team out there to play, to compete, and to win. We feel like these guys, the guys in this locker room, nobody has seen them play together. Nobody has seen them play a game so, like I said, we're going to know where we measure up. We play a very talented Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 and then we follow up with a final four team, the Tennessee Titans, so we'll know pretty quick where we measure up with some of the top teams in the league."
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