The Jacksonville Jaguars need to get to 53 players by Saturday at 4pm EST and with the roster currently at 75, things will be tense for more than two dozen players on the bubble today and tomorrow.
Undoubtedly, some players currently on the team will get cut and picked up by other teams. The Jaguars have a number of good receivers and defensive linemen, and other teams will be monitoring what Dave Caldwell does.
These are the players on the bubble who still have the hope of making this final roster. Just how much of a chance is up to Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley.
After a less-than-stellar first three weeks, the sixth-round pick made a case for himself to stay on the roster and develop into a competent backup quarterback to Blake Bortles. His 17-for-26, two touchdown performance was a good bit of film. Ideally, he'd be able to stay on the practice squad and a roster spot wouldn't have to be sacrificed. It all depends on how much Dave Caldwell wants to roll the dice and how appealing the prospect of turning him into trade bait for a mid-round pick two years down the road looks.
I don't think there's a chance Evans makes this roster, but he looked good last night -- yes, against Falcons backups, but still good. He caught three passes for 54 yards on five targets and added in a touchdown during the first quarter on a great read and pass by Allen over the Falcons secondary. I don't think he makes it with the first four receiver spots wrapped up for the Jaguars and Bryan Walters seemingly on the inside track.
The only chance Banyard has of making the roster is if Dave Caldwell wants to kick the tires on Denard Robinson... and I think they should. You know what you have in Robinson. Banyard, on the other hand, is the Jaguars' leading rusher in the preseason and got increasingly more reps as the weeks went on. Robinson saw less and less until Thursday night when most of the starters sat the game out.
After OTAs and a training camp where he was being lauded and then a two-catch, 28-yard night against the New York Jets in the preseason opener, Bowman fell off the map to allow Neal Sterling and Ben Koyack to get a few more reps. He didn't have a catch in Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason and only got one reception for four yards last night. We've got him making the 53-man roster that features four tight ends, but practice squad is also a possibility for the undrafted free agent this year.
If the Jaguars weren't so loaded at the interior defensive line position, I'd say Ash would be a fun story. He works hard, he's made the most of his reps this preseason, and he'd be a more-than-adequate backup on most teams. Unfortunately, the 1-tech spot is pretty full with Abry Jones and Roy Miller making the team, and there's very little wiggle room with Sen'Derrick Marks, Malik Jackson, and Sheldon Day headlining the 3-tech spot. Ash looked athletic enough to possibly play both spots, but I can't see another backup interior lineman making it.
If the Jaguars keep six linebackers (as we think they do) then Pullard makes it easily. He has been given ample opportunities and snaps during the preseason and with the Jaguars doing a number of different things at linebacker, his ability to fill in as a backup over the middle (and allowing defensive coordinator Todd Wash to use Myles Jack at the outside) is an asset. I think he makes it.
In the latter half of the preseason, Johnson showed a lot of versatility. He had a couple of passes defended against the Bengals and Falcons (including a deep one on Friday night where he stretched out to make the play) and also showed he can be an asset as a blitzing cornerback, getting a sack against the Bengals. He was already on the outside looking in and then fumbled at the end of the first half against the Falcons and that seemed to seal his fate. He's a second-year player who is still eligible for the practice squad and I hope that's where he ends up.