Monday, August 25, 2014
Jacksonville Jaguars' projected roster
By Michael DiRocco
Examining the Jacksonville Jaguars' roster:
General manager David Caldwell has said he likes to keep three quarterbacks, but I think he'll just keep Henne and Bortles and try and sign Ricky Stanzi to the practice squad. Bortles has been so impressive this preseason that there's no doubt that he would be the option if Henne were to get hurt early in the season.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
This should be a pretty easy decision for the Jaguars. Gerhart looked pretty good against Detroit and he's definitely the team's N0. 1 back. Todman has had a good camp and preseason. Robinson has value as an edge playmaker and another option in the passing game now that he's shown he can take care of the football. Johnson has to prove he can pass block and have consistent ball security. He's not likely to get much work this season.
Ace Sanders has returned from his leave of absence for personal issues but he's also facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He doesn't count against the 53-man roster until after his suspension. Tandon Doss, whom the team signed as a free agent in March, is rehabbing a sprained ankle and is getting closer to a return and could be on the field for the season opener. Kerry Taylor's drop in the end zone on a two-point conversion pass against Detroit has likely sealed his fate.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Harbor has missed several weeks with a calf injury but has begun working on the side. If he's able to return in time for the final cuts he'll be the No. 2 tight end. If he has to start the season on the PUP list then I think that would clear a spot for Marcel Jensen, who flashed potential during OTAs but hasn't done much in the preseason. If Harbor is healthy to start the season I think the Jaguars would like to keep Jensen on the practice squad.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
An injury to Pasztor (fractured right hand) has reshaped this unit for the final part of preseason and it likely means an additional player making the roster. Bradfield moves into his starting spot at right tackle. The staff really likes Josh Wells, a rookie from James Madison, but he's dealing with a shoulder injury, so that opens a spot for Young. McClendon and Bowanko appear to be battling for the starting center spot. Linder appears to be the favorite to be the starter at right guard. Brewster went from being the starting center to playing right guard in the third quarter against Detroit and snapping in the fourth. His versatility helps him.
DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
This should be the biggest position-group upgrade on the roster thanks to the additions of Clemons, Bryant and Hood. Despite public perception, Alualu isn't on the bubble for two reasons: He played solidly last season, and there really isn't anyone else on the roster as talented as he is to back up Bryant. The Jags are excited about Smith, who could end up playing more than Davis as the No. 3 LEO (hybrid end/linebacker) by the time the season is over.
J.T. Thomas could stick if the Jaguars decide to keep an extra linebacker instead of five cornerbacks, or if Hayes' surgically repaired knee doesn't respond well. Stupar has had a solid camp and remains Posluszny's top backup. Reynolds did a solid job subbing for Watson (groin) during OTAs and minicamp at the new OTTO position (replaces strongside linebacker). Watson has returned, but it's likely Reynolds begins the season as the starter there until Watson gets caught up.
Harris, a seventh-round pick in 2013 who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a back injury, made the team over third-year player Mike Harris, who was cut Sunday. Jeremy Harris, at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, is a better fit for what coach Gus Bradley wants in his cornerbacks than the 5-10, 188-pound Mike Harris, who was a member of former GM Gene Smith's final draft class. Fourth-round draft pick Aaron Colvin will begin the season on the PUP list and doesn't count against the roster limit.
I had Prosinski as a bubble player and Joe Young making the team as the fourth safety, but Young was cut on Sunday so that paves the way for Prosinski to make the final roster. Evans seems to be the name everyone mentions when talking about the first Caldwell draft pick to get cut, but although he might lose his starting job to Guy, he's likely to stick around at least another year.
These guys should have little or no competition to make the roster.