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 tight ends.
Now we'll move into the trenches and look at the offensive line.
Lock on the Roster:
Eugene Monroe: I think this goes without saying. Monroe will be on the roster and will be the starting left tackle, and should be the starting left tackle for quite a few years. Especially if Monroe progresses the way he did last season.
Eben Britton: Like Monroe, this is a no-brainer. Britton will be the right tackle for this football team for years to come. He has the mean streak you look for in a road-grader. Plus, he's got a killer mustache.
Uche Nwaneri: I don't think there is a question of whether or not Nwaneri is going to be on the roster, but where will he be starting. Will it be center or guard?
Justin Smiley: I feel pretty confident in saying barring injury, Justin Smiley will be on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. I have a hard time believing Gene Smith would go out and get a guy just to dump him in the cuts, even if he would have given up nothing in the conditional trade.
Likely on the Roster:
Vince Manuwai: Vinny has struggled a bit this off-season, but by all accounts rebounded towards the end of OTA's. He's still recovering a bit from his knee injury in 2008, but I expect him to be healthy come the season. I still feel he will he the starting right guard when all is said and done, but he will be pushed by guys like his former college teammate and good friend Kynan Forney.
Kynan Forney: Forney shouldn't have much trouble making this roster. He can play both guard and right tackle if need be. Forney might not start, but he will push the other interior players during training camp and the pre-season. He was a very good interior lineman for the Atlanta Falcons before his career was setback by injuries.
On the Bubble:
Brad Meester: Meester seems to be coming to the end of the road, as far as his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Right now, he's still penciled in as the starting center, but it seems that the Jaguars are looking for his replacement. The bringing in of Justin Smiley signals to me that Meester is on his last leg. He'll need a very strong camp to keep his spot on a roster looking to get younger.
John Estes: Estes is one of the players who could make it easier for the Jaguars to part ways with Brad Meester. I was shocked Estes wound up undrafted, but to the Jaguars benefit it happened. Already Estes is a coaching favorite and is running at center on the second "2nd" team.
Jordan Black: Jordan Black was given an extension last year and made Tony Pashos expendable, but I'm not sure how long he'll last on the roster. He's an adequate back up and was used as an extra blocker in some jump formations. There is a rumor however... that he was the OTA rat. Keep that in mind.
Cecil Newton: Newton, like John Estes, is another player who may make the Jaguars comfortable enough to part ways with Brad Meester. Newton can double as a guard or a center.
Kevin Haslam: I debated on putting Haslam in the "Lock" category, because I'm pretty positive he makes the final roster based on some things I've heard out of OTA's. He can play all 5 positions on the offensive line, and some draftnicks thought he was a better player than his counterpart at Rutgers, who was a Top 15 pick in the draft. Can Haslam defy the NFL Odds and make my bold guarantee true? I hope so.
Destined for the Practice Squad or the Street
Cameron Stephenson: Stephenson is a big guard, but I just don't think he has what it takes to make this final roster. The interior line this year is extremely competitive.
Paul McQuistan: McQuistan is a huge offensive lineman who doesn't really have a position. As of right now he's just a body and not much else.
Daniel Baldridge: Baldridge is a guy who can make a push for the roster, but I think he winds up on the practice squad. He's a big kid with talent who's very raw.
Andrew Crummey: Like McQuistan, Crummey doesn't have a true position. He'll likely play at right tackle or right guard when the pads are on and he's getting reps, but his best shot is as a member of the practice squad.
*edit: Corrected title, I'm dumb