In my honest opinion, this final roster is another show of GM Gene Smith's efficiency at his job. As there were a few surprise cuts which leave a lot of questions to be answered, when given another look, their appears to logic behind every move. It's obvious he has built the type of team HC Jack Del Rio wants to run, one that will run the ball and stop the run. Yet simultaneously has kept enough CB's (6) to run nickel and dime packages to defend the pass when needed. While for the most part they are unproven, they are young and should improve with more playing time.
Other than the teams core players, I think, he kept the players that he believe would not clear waivers, such as: DE Aaron Morgan, FB Brock Bolen, OT Kevin Haslem, LB Jacob Cutrera, SS Courtney Greene and TE Zach Potter. Of the players cut, there are only four of them that probably won't be available later in season, as they might find employment with another team. Those players are: SS Gerald Alexander, TE Earnest Wilford, OG Kynan Forney and CB Scott Starks. Of the other players released, they should still be free agents, should there be injuries.
Concerns of lack of depth at certain positions such as Safety, Defensive Tackle and Linebacker should not be feared either. As far as safety goes, a team should only need four Safeties on the team at a time. Which is what the Jags will have if they keep DB Tyron Brackenridge solely as a Safety, his orginal position. They shouldn't need him to play CB because, as mentioned earlier, they have six other players to do so. At Defensive Tackle they should be fine also, especially with Jeremy Mincey's ability to play both DT an DE. Should injury occur, DT Ko Quaye will be on the practice squad and DT's Attiyaah Ellison and Walter Curry should be readily available. Lastly, at Linebacker their only appears to be a lack of depth too. Again, if injury should happen at the position, released LB's Rod Wilson, Teddy Lehman and Rod Wilson should still be available. Also, with LB's Freddy Keiaho and Kyle Bosworth being on the injury reserve, once healed, they will be options. With these positions there are only two Safeties, two Defensive Tackles and three Linebackers (two in nickle and dime packages) on the field at any given time. With that being said, you can afford to go a little light at them, especially when you have a reserve of players ready to step in should the injury bug bite. Although not the case at Safety, I'm sure Gene could find a suitable free agent should the need arise. Even at WR, as the norm was to keep six at the position, there is no issue as TE Zach Miller can be used in a Reciever capacity.
To me, it looks like Gene Smith kept who he though was the best available players. In every way possible, he went with young players that can improve over players that have probably maxed out on their potential. He has left it to the coaches to figure the rest out. I'm not sure what to expect from this team, but if nothing else, they should be competitive and should improve week in and week out. This will be fun to watch!
*On the Don Carey discussion; it shouldn't be an issue as he has CB's David Jones, William Middleton and Michael Coe ahead of him, which should give him all the time he needs to grow into the potential Gene believes he has.
*Also, as the Safety play probably won't be spectacular, they should all be able to do their job. Keep the play in front of them and make the tackle.
How would you grade the final roster?
A - the best players were kept (10 votes)
B - a few suprises, but still good (20 votes)
C - no better than a year ago (1 vote)
D - worst than a year ago (0 votes)
F - it's a complete disaster (0 votes)
31 total votes