To help get through the boring NFL offseason, we're going to attempt a series of breaking down the Jacksonville Jaguars 90-man roster. This is obviously subject to change with Dave Caldwell's wont to churn the roster and I'm sure that trend will continue going forward. Nevertheless, we'll start going down the roster sheet in alphabetical order and touch on why a player might improve, or regress and their chances of making the roster.
Next up, LEO end Jason Babin.
Babin was originally claimed off waivers towards the end of the 2012 season and didn't make that much of an impact, which isn't surprising given he was settling into a new team. Prior to the 2013 season many thought that Babin could be a cap casualty because of his age and salary, with Dave Caldwell gutting the roster and bringing a lot of young players, but the team held on to Babin and he was their most productive pass rusher in recent memory.
Now, he wasn't amazing, but he was the most consistent pass rush threat the team has had since Reggie Hayward.
Why he might improve:
Like Tyson Alualu, Jason Babin now has someone in front of him on the depth chart in newly signed LEO end Chris Clemons. Babin was really the only end who consistently got pressure last season and played a ton of snaps. With being over 30, Babin can now split reps with Clemons and both can keep each other more fresh during the season, which in theory should also help the overall pass rush. Babin will also be in his second season in Gus Bradley's system, which is more in tune with what Babin is good at; lining up wide and rushing the passer down a straight runway.
Why he might regress:
In one simple word, age. Babin just turned 34 years old and is right at that threshold where his play can suddenly just fall off a cliff. He was still productive last season and re-signed at a cheaper rate this year and will likely be a back up/rotation player with the addition of Clemons, but if it begins to go with Babin it will likely go fast.
Babin has stayed relatively healthy, so really just age catching up to him is where he could regress this season.
Chances of making the final roster:
Babin's chances of making the roster aren't quite at the 50/50 mark just yet, but depending on how some of the younger players do in training camp and the preseason it could approach that mark and by all accounts the younger players have looked good in OTAs. He's far from a lock to make the roster, but because he was simply the best pass rusher they had last season and currently is likely the second best one behind Clemons, he's got the inside edge to make the final roster. If Babin is released in final cuts, the Jaguars save around $2.5 million on the cap, though as we've talked about they're nowhere near cap strapped.