Every season there are a couple of players who stand out in training camp and sometimes it carries over into the preseason. One of the guys who caught my eye in camp was linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, who followed up his solid work in camp with a solid Week 1 preseason game. Another guy whoever seemed to stand out more in the game than he did in practice.
Meet defensive end Paul Hazel.
At 6'5 and 227 pounds, Hazel seems like a perfect fit as a player to mold into the LEO defensive end role for Gus Bradley. Initially I figured Hazel would be a lock for the practice squad as kind of a "redshirt" year to let him add some weight and get stronger, but he's made enough noise through the first two weeks of camp and the preseason that he might actually be fighting for a roster spot if he can contribute on special teams.
In the Jaguars first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, Hazel ended with three tackles and a hit on the quarterback. He also harassed the pocket for much of the game and notched the second highest pass rushing grade in the game from ProFootballFocus (+1.1).
Hazel with a hit on Pat Devlin on an inside rush move
It's still more likely that Hazel ends up on the Jaguars practice squad this season, as mentioned to get bigger and stronger, but if he can keep showing up in the preseason and in practice he'll give himself a fighting chance.
Especially if he goes against Mark Asper enough times.
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- Justin Blackmon injury: Jaguars WR added to active roster
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