The Jaguars have had more than two weeks in camp and a preseason game to begin to sort out their roster. Some decisions, such as releasing veteran WR Lee Evans, have already been made. Other choices might revolve around whether RB Maurice Jones-Drew makes it to camp before the start of the season.
Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2 and those who we think may soon be seeking alternative employment.
And here are our position-by-position projections:
QB -- In: (3) Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer. Out: Nathan Enderle. Analysis: The Jaguars are set up nicely here. They have their QB of the future in Gabbert, a veteran backup in Henne and a third man in place should there be an emergency situation. Palmer helped his cause in the team’s first preseason game by engineering a comeback and completing 9 of 13 passes for 110 yards.
RB -- In: (5) Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings, Jalen Parmele, Greg Jones (FB), Montell Owens Out: Brock Bolen, Richard Murphy, DuJuan Harris, Keith Toston Analysis: Only time will tell when -- or if -- Jones-Drew will show up. For the purpose of predicting the roster, the assumption is that he’ll be there before the team’s opener. Jennings has looked capable of assuming the starting RB role should Jones-Drew not make it in time. Jones and Owens bring a lot of value and versatility that help the team in the running game, the passing game and on special teams.
WR -- In: (5) Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Mike Thomas, Brian Robiskie Out: Mike Brown, Kevin Elliott, Chastin West, Demetrius Williams. Analysis: This is one of the most intriguing battles in camp. The Jaguars could easily keep five or six guys. Robinson, Blackmon, Shorts and Thomas are virtual locks at this point. The battle for the fifth and potentially the sixth spot will be one to watch. Rookies Mike Brown and Kevin Elliott have been impressive, Demetrius Williams was brought in this week after veteran Lee Evans was released.
TE -- In: (3) Marcedes Lewis, Zach Miller, Matt Veldman Out: Colin Cloherty, Zach Potter Analysis: Lewis and Miller should be fine despite Miller’s injury-prone recent history. The third spot is up for grabs. Veldman is a little bit of a long shot, but the 6-foot-7, 255-pound, undrafted rookie out of North Dakota State has some upside. He’ll have to continue to prove himself in camp to hold off the more veteran Potter and Cloherty.
OL -- In (9): Eugene Monroe, Will Rackley, Brad Meester, Eben Britton, Uche Nwaneri, Jason Spitz, John Estes, Cameron Bradfield, Guy Whimper Out: Michael Brewster, D.J. Hall, Josh Beekman, Daniel Baldridge, Lee Barbiasz, Dan Hoch, Will Robinson. Analysis: The OL has been a survival-of-the-fittest scenario with all of the injuries that have occurred during camp. When the dust settles, these nine have the best combination of talent and experience to make the roster. Estes is the most in danger of missing significant time after undergoing knee surgery this week. If he is indeed out for a long time, he could end up on IR and rookie Mike Brewster might make the team.
DL -- In (10): Jeremy Mincey, Andre Branch, Austen Lane, George Selvie, Aaron Morgan, C.J. Mosley, Tyson Alualu, Terrance Knighton, Jeris Pendleton, D’Anthony Smith, John Chick (PUP) Out: Kendrick Adams, Ryan Davis, Odrick Ray, Corvey Irvin, Drew Nowak. Analysis: They could go with nine on the defensive front, meaning Morgan or perhaps Pendleton could be on the bubble. Chick’s long-term health is also a concern. This group is shaping up nicely with Mincey and Branch looking like the starters at DE, and Alualu, Mosley, Knighton and Smith looking like a strong rotation of DTs.
LB -- In (6): Paul Posluszny, Clint Session, Daryl Smith, Brandon Marshall, Russell Allen, Nate Bussey. Out: J.K. Schaffer, Kyle Bosworth, Joshua Jones, Julian Stanford. Analysis: This is a spot where they could keep six or seven. Having an extra LB or two on the roster is usually not a bad idea for special teams’ purposes. Session is also a real question mark going forward. The veteran LB has vowed to play in 2012, but lingering concussion symptoms might keep him on the sideline. The battle for the last spot or two will be one to watch with impressive youngsters such as Bussey, Schaffer and Stanford trying to make the team.
DB -- In (9): Aaron Ross, Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Dwight Lowery, Dawan Landry, Chris Prosinki, Rod Issac, William Middleton, Mike Harris. Out: Antwon Blake, Antonio Dennard, Ashton Youboty, Trumaine McBride, Kevin Rutland, Leigh Torrence, Jeremiah Brown, Courtney Greene. Analysis: Ross, Cox, Mathis, Landry and Lowery look to be the principal characters here. The question will be who will provide the depth. The battle between sixth-round pick Mike Harris and veteran Ashton Youboty will be one to watch at this spot.
Special teams -- In (3): Josh Scobee, Bryan Anger, Jeremy Cain Out: Nobody. Analysis: Not much to discuss here. Anger looked great in the first preseason game, so the Jaguars will have a chance to have one of the best kicking duos in the NFL.
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