1. Blake Bortles:
This one doesn't take a whole lot of thought. Bortles is the key to the Jaguars success in 2017. If he can play turnover free football (relatively) then the Jaguars should have a great chance at real success in 2017. Instead of looking at his stats after the game, pay attention to his footwork, his mechanics, and his body language. Pay attention to whether or not he gets down on him self after a bad play. Pay attention to his incompletions. Where they his fault? The receivers fault? Was it a bad read? If Bortles bounces back from a really rough practice against the Patriots on Tuesday then it'll be another positive step for him and for the 2017 edition of the Jaguars.
2. Dante Fowler:
Another obvious choice. Fowler has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2017 - the most recent being him getting kicked off the practice field against the Patriots twice with in five minutes, once for a late face mask and once for jawing with a Patriots player. Now, Fowler has shown flashes in nearly every practice so far this training camp. If he hopes to not be an afterthought in this years defense he'll need to show up big time in the preseason. It starts with New England on Thursday.
3. Myles Jack:
Jack was, perhaps, one of the five most talented players in the 2016 NFL Draft. He now assumes the role of starting middle linebacker. Obviously, he needs to perform at a high level replacing Paul Posluszny in the middle. But don't just pay attention to what he does after the play starts. Jack needs to be a leader on this defense and will be tasked with getting players in the right positions pre-snap. Keep an eye on that against New England. There will be growing pains, but if Jack looks comfortable getting the Jaguars defenders lined up it will be a really, really good sign for this defense.
4. Leonard Fournette:
In my estimation, Fournette has been the best player on the field for the Jaguars in training camp thus far. He can do it all and makes it look effortless. He may not get much play in this one, but keep an eye on him when he is in the game. If he carries over his performances from the practice field to the game it'll be another positive step for Fournette towards becoming a star rookie.
5. Cam Robinson:
Another rookie with high expectations, Cam Robinson will need to grow as a player, and quick. He'll likely be forced into the starting lineup at left tackle as a rookie. If Robinson holds his own today it'll be a nice step for the young offensive lineman. He may not run with the starters tonight, but by the end of pre season he certainly will be.
Got someone else you're excited to watch for on Thursday? Let us know in the comments below
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