Organized Team Activities (OTA's) start up again this week, but it's still the dead zone. I figure it's that time to do the oh-so-way-too-early roster breakdown, and handicap the positions. We'll go position by position on the football team and look at who's competing for a roster spot, who's a lock, and who's on the bubble.
Last time we did runningbacks.
Now we'll begin our move out of the offensive backfield and look at the tight ends.
Lock on the Roster:
Marcedes Lewis: Lewis should still be the No. 1 tight end on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. He is the most complete tight end on the roster. He is one of the best blocking tight ends in the entire NFL, and he's shown more and more in the passing game since he's come into the NFL. It's kind of backwards saying that, since he was basically a wide receiver at UCLA. Lewis was a pro-bowl alternate last season and we should expect another similar type year this upcoming season.
Zach Miller: Miller was somewhat of an enigma last year, but he showed at the end of the season what kind of damage he could do. He had a 62-yard long catch and run against the Houston Texans that made everyone in the press box say "Wow, who is that?". Miller should get involved more in the offense this season now that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has full control, as Koetter likes to utilize the tight ends in his offense.
Likely on the Roster:
Ernest Wilford: I honestly did not think Wilford would be on the roster last season when the Jaguars brought him in, but he made the final cut and did what Ernest Wilford always does. the little things. Wilford only had 11 receptions last year, but his ability to block in the open field helped the running game on many occasions and he did have some key 3rd receptions. With Koetter getting more control over the offense, Wilford's receiving ability could keep him on the team, but indications are some of these younger guys are going to push him.
On the Bubble:
Zach Potter: The Jaguars picked up Potter last season mid-year and converted him from defensive end, which he played in college at Nebraska, and turned him into a tight end. Potter is surprisingly an adequate blocker and is a huge target. He's an athletic tight end, but isn't a natural pass catcher. I don't know if he makes the roster, but if he can improve his pass catching he's got a real chance to make push for the team.
Mike Caussin: Mike Caussin was a fan favorite at James Madison University. Word is he's been turning some heads in OTA's with his pass catching ability. If he can keep up his impressive performance and show he is a willing blocker who can improve, he might have a shot to make the team. I saw him getting coached up between reps by Marcedes Lewis during mini-camp, so he might be a player Gene Smith sees a lot of upside in.