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Jaguars roster analysis: Tight end an interesting situation

NFL: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

We got a little derailed over the past week or so, but picking up where we left off looking at the position groups on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster, we stay on the offensive side of the ball and move to the tight end group.

What do the Jaguars have?

The Jaguars have an oddball group of tight ends currently, led by long-time Jaguar Marcedes Lewis. The team also signed Mychal Rivera this offseason, as well as returning Ben Koyack, Neal Sterling, Alex Ellis and added UDFA Caleb Bluiett.

With the focus on the run game, it would seem the Jaguars have decided to devalue the tight end position, at least from the aspect of a pass catching target. They added Rivera who is more of a pass catcher than a blocker, but he can do a bit more of both than former Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins this offseason.

How much are the Jaguars spending?

(via Spotrac)

As you can see, the Jaguars are below the league average at the position, which is carried mostly by the contract of veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis. Had Julius Thomas still been on the team, the Jaguars would probably end up in the top half.

Projected tight ends

The current assumption is that the tight end position will be predominantly manned by Lewis and Rivera, with guys like Koyack, Sterling etc. battling it out for the final tight end spot. My guess is that the team keeps only three tight ends in 2017, since they are deciding to add a fullback. It feels like they’re devaluing tight end as a pass catcher and going to focus more on tight ends who can do both, or just focus on blocking overall with the emphasis on the run.

With the team expected to focus on running the ball, it means there will be less catches to go around in the passing game for everyone, and the Jaguars have more than enough talent at wide receiver to devalue tight end in the passing department.