JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three draft picks are listed as starters on the Jaguars’ first official depth chart of the season, released before Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game.
On defense, first overall pick Travon Walker is listed as the starter at strongside linebacker (SAM) ahead of veteran K’Lavon Chaisson. Fellow first-round pick Devin Lloyd is listed as one of the starters at inside linebacker beside free agent addition Foye Oluokun.
Other rookies on defense include Chad Muma, who is listed as Oluokun’s backup, and Montaric Brown, who is listed as the backup to Tyson Campbell at one of the cornerback positions. Second-year safety Andrew Cisco is listed as the starter at free safety.
On offense, only one rookie is listed among the top two teams, center Luke Fortner is listed ahead of KC McDermott with Tyler Shatley listed as the starter at left guard ahead of Ben Bartch. Jawaan Taylor is listed as the starter at right tackle despite missing several days in camp because of a hamstring pull. Walker Little is listed as the backup right tackle. James Robinson, who recently returned to practice for the first time since his season-ending injury last year, is listed as the starter ahead of Travis Etienne. Rookie Snoop Conner is listed as the third team running back.
At wide receiver Marvin Jones, Christian Kirk and Zay Jones are all listed as starters with Laquon Treadwell, Laviska Shenault and Tim Jones listed on the second team. Chris Manherz and Evan Engram are both listed as starters at tight end ahead of Luke Farrell and Dan Arnold.
It should come as no surprise that so many rookies are listed as playing key roles. Last week, head coach Doug Pederson said that he believes in getting the rookies playing time early on.
“With a guy like Travon, he’s our first pick. You’re going to throw him in there,” Pederson said. Luke (Fortner) is the same way. Devin Lloyd, before the injury, was in the starting rotation. You draft these guys for a reason, and the reason is they need to play. We need the depth, we need the talent, we need maybe possibly to fill a hole. There’s no better time than right now to let them go through a practice and make mistakes, have successes and be able to coach all that right now than say, Week 1 or 2 of the regular season, when it’s their first time.”
Take all of this with a grain of salt. Teams are required to include a depth chart in advance of games and Thursday night’s matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders is the first preseason game for any team in the league. There is a long way to go until the season opener on Sept. 11.