As Jaguars training camp begins we look at three storylines to follow on day one!
1. Blake Bortles' Command of the Offense
2018 marks the first time in Bortles young career that he's been afforded the opportunity to work in the same system for two consecutive seasons. Under Nathaniel Hackett Bortles showed growth throughout the 2017 season. For a three game stretch in December Bortles was the best QB in football and he was an integral part of the Jaguars success during their three game run in the playoffs last season. Throughout the offseason program Bortles has been referred to as a leader on the offensive side of the ball and he clearly showed development in terms of owning the Jaguars offense. Does he continue to look the part on day one of training camp? This will be a storyline to follow throughout training camp and OTAs.
2. Does DJ Hayden Look the Part?
The Jaguars lost their starting nickel CB Aaron Colvin this offseason. He left for greener ($$$) pastures in Houston and the opportunity to make his name as a starting outside cornerback. The Jaguars signed DJ Hayden to replace him as the team's starting nickel corner. Since being drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft Hayden's career hasn't gone quite the way he would have hoped. To this point he's been labeled a bust. But the Jaguars like what they saw from him in Detroit last year when he was lined up at nickel. Will he look the part of a starting nickel cornerback? If not players like Tyler Patmon, Jalen Myrick, and Quenton Meeks could look to take Hayden's spot.
3. Are the Receivers Ready to Make an Impact?
The Jaguars WR group is the most volatile on the team. While the group has explosive potential they also have yet to prove much individually or as a group. Marqise Lee was just okay in 2017 - he led the league in drops, but was also the Jaguars most targeted receiver. Donte Moncrief has big time speed and playmaking ability, but has struggled to stay healthy throughout his four year career. Keelan Cole had the best season of any Jaguars receiver last year and showed off some game breaking speed and the ability to make some highlight reel grabs. Dede Westbrook only played in 7 regular season games as a rookie, but appears poised to make a bigger impact in year two. DJ Chark is the Jaguars rookie second round pick - he's got 4.3 speed and an excellent catch radius. How quickly can he adapt to the speed of the NFL? Beyond that there are guys like Jaydon Mickens, Rashad Greene, and priority undrafted free agent Allen Lazard. This group has all the potential in the world, but will it be realized sooner rather than later?
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