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An early shot at predicting the Jaguars 2020 roster

Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage during the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage during the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – I have to admit, this is a very early roster prediction, especially since all of the offseason workouts have been virtual. But it’s never too early to take a run at predicting who will be on the Jaguars final 53-man roster.

I see 28 players as locks and 10 near locks to make the roster. I have another 15 guys on the fence in this edition. But it’s late May and these are the 53 that I see on the roster.

These numbers will change as we get answers about the health surrounding some players on the roster and about just how much the Jaguars plan to play a 3-4 defense this season.

There will probably be some names listed in spots that come as a surprise. Rookies are designated by an (r).

Quarterback

QB Josh Dobbs: On the fence

QB Mike Glennon: Near lock

QB Jake Luton: Long shot (r)

QB Gardner Minshew II: Lock

Summary: The ‘Stache is the only lock at quarterback. Right now, I would give Glennon, an offseason free agent signing, the clear edge at earning the backup spot, with Dobbs needing to convince the Jaguars to keep three QBs. As for Luton, unless he wow’s during training camp, I would expect him to be battling for a spot on the practice squad.

Backfield

RB Ryquell Armstead: Lock

RB Nathan Cottrell: Long shot (r)

RB Tavien Feaster: Long shot (r)

RB Leonard Fournette: Lock

RB Devine Ozigbo: On the fence

RB James Robinson: Long shot (r)

FB Connor Slomka: Long shot (r)

RB Chris Thompson: Near lock

Summary: In the backfield Fournette and Armstead are both locked into roster spots. The Jaguars didn’t pick up Fournette’s fifth-year contract option but he is still the top back on the depth chart. Armstead showed some flashes last season on his few opportunities. He will be trying to earn a few more carries this season. Thompson was brought in because of his familiarity with Jay Gruden’s offense and to fill the role as a pass-catching back. The only thing that keeps him off the roster would be an injury or if Ozigbo can wow during camp.

Receiver

WR DJ Chark Jr.: Lock

WR Keelan Cole: Long Shot

WR Chris Conley: Lock

WR Laviska Shenault Jr.: Lock (r)

WR Dede Westbrook: On the fence

WR Collin Johnson: On the fence (r)

WR Michael Walker: Long Shot

WR Marvelle Ross: Long shot (r)

WR Josh Hammond: Long shot (r)

WR Terry Godwin: Long shot

WR C.J. Board: Long shot

Summary: Chark, Conley, Shenault are locked for large workloads next season. Behind them there will be quite a few players vying for likely two roster spots. Westbrook, Walker and Cole all have experience returning kicks and that versatility will give them a boost.

Tight end

TE Tyler Eifert: Lock

TE Josh Oliver: Lock

TE James O’Shaughnessy: On the fence

TE Tyler Davis: On the fence (r)

TE Charles Jones: Long shot

TE Ben Ellefson: Long shot (r)

Summary: Gruden will be looking to get more production out of the tight end position than the Jaguars have gotten in years past. Eifert and Oliver should both be locks for the roster. I have O’Shaughnessy listed as on the fence only because I have not heard any updates on how his rehab is going after tearing his ACL last season. As for Davis, he likely would have been a long shot in my book, but Gruden mentioned his versatility to play fullback.

Offensive line

G Ben Bartch: Near lock (r)

G AJ Cann: Lock

C Tyler Gauthier: Long shot

OT Blake Hance: Long shot

C Brandon Linder: Lock

G KC McDermott: Long shot

OT Steven Nielsen: Long shot (r)

G Andrew Norwell: Lock

OT Austen Pleasants: Long shot (r)

OT Ryan Pope: Long shot

OT/G Will Richardson Jr: Lock

OT Cam Robinson: Lock

G Tyler Shatley: On the fence

OT Jawaan Taylor: Lock

G Tre’Vour Wallace-Sims: Long shot (r)

Summary: The Jaguars are likely running it back with the same starting offensive line from last season. The only player locked into a roster spot that is not a starter is Richardson, as he is moving to left tackle this season. His versatility is valuable. I’d expect Bartch and Shatley to both make the final roster, but I wouldn’t be knocked out of my chair if either one of them didn’t make the cut at this point.

Defensive line

DT Taven Bryan: Lock

DT Doug Costin: Long shot (r)

DT Rodney Gunter: Lock

DT Davon Hamilton: Near lock (r)

DT Abry Jones: Near lock

DT Dontavius Russell: Long shot

DT Brian Price: Long shot

DT Al Woods: Near lock

Summary: Not knowing just how committed to the 3-4 defensive alignment the Jaguars will be, the front seven is the most difficult area on the team to forecast. The two locks in the room are Bryan after his elevated play last season, and free-agent signee Gunter. I’d Hamilton to make the roster, but with some veterans vying for that same spot he will have to go out there and earn it.

Edge

DE Josh Allen: Lock

DE K’Lavon Chaisson: Lock (r)

DE Aaron Lynch: On the fence

DE Yannick Ngakoue: Long shot

DE Lerentee McCray: On the fence

DE Cassius Marsh: On the fence

DE Dawuane Smoot: Lock

Summary: Despite question marks around just how some these guys will be used, this is one of the more clear cut positions on the roster. McCray and Marsh will both justify their spots with special teams contributions. As for Ngakoue, well he is still on the roster right now. He’d be a lock without the contract squabbling.

Linebacker

LB Dakota Allen: Long shot

LB Nate Evans: Long shot (r)

LB Joe Giles-Harris: Long shot

LB Myles Jack: Lock

LB Leon Jacobs: Near lock

LB Shaquille Quarterman: Near lock (r)

LB Joe Schobert: Lock

LB Quincy Williams: On the fence

Summary: The addition of Schobert has shuffled things around a little. Jack will move to outside linebacker in a 4-3 and weakside inside backer in a 3-4. With Allen and Chaisson likely filling the outside backer rolls in a 3-4 defense, that puts a few names in a strange position, specifically, Williams. Because of his size, he will struggle to play linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Cornerback

CB Luq Barcoo: Long shot (r)

CB Chris Claybrooks: Long shot (r)

CB DJ Hayden: Lock

CB Amari Henderson: Long shot (r)

CB CJ Henderson: Lock (r)

CB Tre Herndon: Lock

CB Rashaan Melvin: Near lock

CB Parry Nickerson: Long shot

CB Josiah Scott: On the fence (r)

CB Kobe Williams: Long shot (r)

CB Brandon Watson: Long shot

Summary: There will be some tough decisions to make at corner. With the top three on the depth chart locked in, the battle will be for those backup spots. Melvin was just signed this offseason and has been a quality player throughout his career, but he will have to hold off some young players to make the roster. Scott and Claybrooks are both drafts picks but in different positions. Scott will need to show that his size will not be an issue at this level. Claybrooks’ roster spot is tied to his ability to earn the job as the primary kick-off returner. A darkhorse to make the roster is Barcoo, who was an expensive undrafted free agent signing. He pulled in nine interceptions last year for San Diego State to lead the nation.

Safety

FS Ronnie Harrison: Lock

FS Josh Jones: Long shot

FS Doug Middleton: Long shot

SS J.R. Reed: On the fence (r)

SS Daniel Thomas: On the fence (r)

FS Jarrod Wilson: Lock

SS Andrew Wingard: On the fence

Summary: Outside of the two starters, safety is wide open. I’d give Wingard the edge over the two rookies because he was a valuable member on special teams last season. I’d expect Thomas and Reed to both be able to contribute on special teams and push for roster spots.

Special teams

P Logan Cooke: Lock

K Josh Lambo: Lock

LS Ross Matiscik: Long Shot (r)

LS Matthew Orzech: Near lock

K Brandon Wright: Long shot (r)

Summary: Cooke and Lambo are the two biggest locks on the roster. Orzech was the Jaguars long snapper last season, but the Jaguars made some surprise moves there, so we will have to wait and see if the rookie Matiscik can take hold of that job.


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