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Jaguars draft picks who need to impress in training camp

With the Jacksonville Jaguars set to hit the practice field for training camp on July 31, there are quite a few draft picks from general manager Dave Caldwell's first two draft classes who should be feeling some pressure.

Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

Whether some recent Jacksonville Jaguars draft picks need to show development as a player, earn their spot in a crowded position group, or shed some negative reputations that have surrounded the players in their time in Jacksonville, there are a number of other players who need a strong camp.

I wrote here that the 2013 draft specifically should be on notice during camp, but they are not the only ones, as there are second-year players on the roster who also need to use the next few weeks to prove their worth in what is the most pivotal year under the Gus Bradey and Dave Caldwell regime.

5. Storm Johnson

Storm was a surprise seventh-round pick for Jacksonville in 2014. Not because they didn't need a running back, but because Storm was expected by many to be picked 2-3 rounds earlier. Add in the fact that Storm was a productive teammate of No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles with what was determined to be good draft value, and Johnson looked like a solid pick from the go.

Despite this, Storm has to truly win a spot on this team outright come training camp. He did not do much with his opportunities in 2014, getting only 86 yards on 29 carries -- a 3.0 average. He provided several flash plays but overall was underwhelming. Add in the fact that the Jaguars added likely starter T.J. Yeldon via the draft and Bernard Pierce off waivers. Couple this with an offseason back injury and being placed on the non-football injury list, and Storm's future with the team is murky at best.

The Jaguars are likely to carry four running backs on their roster in 2015, and Johnson will be fighting Pierce for that No. 4 and final spot. Personally, I think Johnson should win the job based on talent alone as Pierce has proved throughout the years with the Baltimore Ravens to not be a capable runner, but Johnson will have to fend off Pierce all training camp, and he has to get things on track quickly.

4. Marqise Lee

Like Johnson, Lee was seen as a steal by most when he was selected in the second round. But unlike Johnson, he has the stigma of being a high draft pick surrounding him.

With a high draft slot comes high expectations, many of them unfair and unrealistic. Is this fair? No, but it is what it is. And entering camp, this is Lee's biggest battle. He has to not only prove that he can stay healthy, but he has to prove to a new offensive coordinator that he deserves the playing time and responsibilities that are associated with being a second-round draft pick.

Entering his second year, Lee has to have a productive and injury free camp to help bring back some of the optimism that surrounded him on draft day, and rid the disappointment that many deemed his rookie season. In the end, all that matters is what you do on Sunday. But Lee has to make a leap here first.

3. Dwayne Gratz and Jeremy Harris

Both of these class of 2013 cornerbacks are entering camps where they have to make a lasting impression on the coaching staff, but for different reasons.

Gratz has been a starter right off the bat for the last two seasons, but he simply hasn't developed. Demetrius McCray has locked down one of the corner spots due to his extremely strong play last season, and big free agent signing Davon House will man the other corner spot. So where does that leave Gratz? He'll need to use training camp to find out. He will make the team, but how much he actually plays depends on if he shows any growth over the next few weeks.

As for Harris, he is not a lock to make the team. He hasn't done anything to put his spot in jeopardy, it is just simply a numbers game. He has had too many bodies in front of him at cornerback the last two years and he hasn't had the chance to showcase his skills in game situations. In camp he will have to fend off undrafted free agent Nick Marshall to lock down his spot on the roster.

2. Luke Joeckel

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has been disappointing, and that is putting it nicely. Say what you want about injuries, offseason availability, whatever. He is a second overall pick. He needs to show he can contribute something to the team or he will need to be left behind.

The excuses for Joeckel have to end, and they have to end this training camp. With how much is riding on this season for the entire roster and regime, Joeckel needs to give the team something to actually build off of.

1. Blake Bortles

Do I even need to explain this one? Now let's get back to football season.