50 Man Roster Prediction + Grading

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

I keep track of depth charts for all 32 teams throughout the year and I've been updating them since the draft with rumors from OTAs and whatnot. I have also included player grades garnered from researching a few online sources as well as my own experience. Predicted snap counts are not a season-long projection, but rather "if a game were played today" with this projected roster what would the predicted snap counts look like. Rookie grading is purely based on draft position.

QB (3) 28th

#5 Blake Bortles: C, 100%
#7 Chad Henne: D, 0%
#10 Brandon Allen: D-, 0%

The Jaguars carried three last year and all three return. It would really help if Bortles' improved mechanics could facilitate a bounce-back to his 2015 B-level form, but he was flat atrocious last year.

RB (4) 10th

#27 Leonard Fournette: B, 60%
#24 TJ Yeldon: C+, 30%
#33 Chris Ivory: C+, 10%
#30 Corey Grant: C, 0%

Both Yeldon and Ivory have been merely average, so Fournette will immediately supplant them as the lead-back. However I wouldn't expect anything too crazy -- Fournette ran almost exclusively out of the I-formation at LSU, while the Jaguars didn't even roster a fullback last year.

They've brought in a couple candidates to fill that role but I would still expect to see a lot of shotgun. Fournette may struggle with this transition at least initially, not unlike another great power-back Adrian Peterson. Some guys need a couple steps to build up a head of steam and really become unstoppable, but they look fairly mortal when asked to move laterally from a shotgun. We'll see how he adapts but I would temper expectations a bit for 2017 -- I don't believe we'll see anything Ezekiel Elliott-like.

WR (6) 25th

#15 Allen Robinson: B, 95%
#88 Allen Hurns: C, 75%
#11 Marqise Lee: C+, 75%
#12 Dede Westbrook: C-, 30%
#13 Rashad Greene: D-, 0%
#17 Arrelious Benn: D, 0%

Robinson was one of the league's better receivers in 2015 but hit a bit of a slump last year. Hurns also really struggled although he was banged up a lot of the time -- he could be in danger of losing his starting spot to Lee who played quite well as the No. 2 down the stretch while Hurns was hurt.

Westbrook is a huge wild card here -- 4.4 speed and arguable first-round talent makes him an intriguing option to take over primary slot duties if Hurns can't get back on track this summer.

Greene is a fringe-talent and reportedly on the roster bubble, but he did split snaps with the arguably more talented Benn while he was healthy last year. I also don't see anybody on the roster who would take his place -- Shane Wynn is the only other wideout with NFL experience and he barely played after he was picked up late last season.

It is possible they only go with five WRs to make room for Neal Sterling at tight end.

TE (4) 29th

#80 Mychal Rivera: C-, 65%
#89 Marcedes Lewis: C, 45%
#37 Marquez Williams: F, 15%
#83 Ben Koyak: D, 0%

Yikes this is pretty ugly. Thomas may have had some injury issues, but at least he was very talented when healthy. The same can't be said for Rivera, who is average at best but was brought in to be a like-for-like replacement for Big Julius. I've read reports that the team wants to get Lewis more involved, likely because they realize Rivera isn't very good, but I'll believe it when I see it. Lewis was the No. 2 and primary blocking tight end last year, and even when Thomas missed a game he still was the No. 2 with Sterling operating as the No. 1.

I'll keep a wait-and-see approach here until the Jaguars prove otherwise. I've also kept Williams over Bohanon because the latter has been straight trash for the Jets, so at least Williams still has the benefit of being an unknown at this point. And with the Jaguars carrying a fullback this year, the unathletic Koyak gets demoted to No. 4 and serves as the backup to Lewis.

As mentioned above they could opt to cut a receiver to make room for Sterling as an extra pass-catcher among this group.

OL (8) 16th

#76 Branden Albert: C+, 100%
#74 Cam Robinson: C+, 100%
#65 Brandon Linder: A, 100%
#60 A.J. Cann: C, 100%
#78 Jermey Parnell: B, 100%
#77 Patrick Omameh: C+, 0%
#68 Earl Watford: D-, 0%
#70 Luke Bowanko: D, 0%

There's a lot of smoke screening going on right now with Albert and the left tackle situation -- Albert wants to get paid but that may not happen given his age and poor play as well as his injury history. I do expect Albert to retain the LT job once he reports solely because Robinson projects better at right tackle or on the inside.

In his absence, Robinson has been working as the left tackle, with Linder getting some time at guard, and the coaching staff is adamant Robinson is a legit left tackle prospect but I think they're just trying to nudge Albert to show up. Linder was one of the top centers in the league last year and moving him around shouldn't even be considered.

Cann and Parnell figure to return on the right side where they both played literally every snap last season. Omameh was the top backup last year before getting hurt and theoretically could be challenged by newly acquired Watford, but I doubt it given the incredibly poor play Watford has displayed the entirety of his career. However his presence should make both Shatley and Reed expendable -- neither were quality options on the inside last year after Joeckel got hurt. Bowanko also figures to reprise his role as the backup center after missing most of 2016 with a hip injury.

DT (5) 13th

#97 Malik Jackson: B+, 70%
#95 Abry Jones: B, 55%
#92 Sheldon Day: C, 45%
#90 Stefan Charles: D-, 20%
#96 Mike Bennett: D-, 5%

The Jaguars carried five all last year and these are the only five with NFL experience on the roster, which makes this pretty easy. Jackson is a beast at the 3-tech, while Jones with reprise his role as the primary nose tackle (which he took over last year after Miller's injury). Sen'Derrick Marks' departure opens the door for Day to serve as the top reserve, although Campbell will definitely play his fair share of snaps on the interior in passing situations as well. Charles has a history with with Doug Marrone from his days in Buffalo, which should give him the edge as the No. 4 over Bennett despite some less than stellar play.

ED (5) 13th

#93 Calais Campbell: A, 75%
#56 Dante Fowler: C+, 65%
#91 Yannick Ngakoue: C-, 40%
#94 Dawuane Smoot: C, 20%
#55 Lerentee McCray: D, 0%

Campbell is one of my favorite players to watch, and he should be a real stud for this defense that lacked a solid run defender on the edge with Jared Odrick hurt for much of last season. And while he may be salivating at getting a chance to rush the quarterback off the edge, I do expect him to kick inside on passing downs quite frequently.

Ngakoue should benefit from a role reduction and not having to defend the run so much, instead being used primarily as a subpackage edge rusher.

And Fowler is now two years removed from his knee injury, so hopefully we get to see his pre-draft form come to fruition.

I'm not a big fan of the Smoot pick -- he's a below average athlete who doesn't play the run well, but he should have some time to develop behind the top three. Free agent McCray gets the edge for the No. 5 spot because he's got NFL experience and special teams prowess, while Woodard is essentially a rookie again this year.

LB (6) 8th

#50 Telvin Smith: B+, 95%
#44 Myles Jack: C+, 95%
#51 Paul Posluszny: A, 35%
#53 Blair Brown: D, 20%
#57 Audie Cole: D-, 0%
#45 Josh McNary: F, 0%

Major props to Posluszny for accepting his role reduction with class -- he realizes he's 32 and Jack is the future, and despite having a stellar season at MIKE he is quietly shifting over to SAM to accommodate the team. Jack had an okay rookie season but should continue to improve and hopefully realize the first-round talent he displayed before the knee injury he suffered during his senior year. If he does, pairing him with Smith will be frightening for offenses.

I also really like Brown as a prospect -- he is undersized but super-athletic and could develop into a solid cover guy a la Deone Bucannon.

Cole and McNary were both signed this offseason, and with both being solid special teamers it could signal the end of Hays Pullard's tenure in Jacksonville.

CB (5) 2nd

#20 Jalen Ramsey: B, 100%
#21 AJ Bouye: A, 95%
#22 Aaron Colvin: C+, 60%
#29 Josh Johnson: C+, 5%
#31 Jalen Myrick: F, 0%

Newly signed Bouye gives the Jaguars one of the top cornerback duos in the league, with Ramsey himself being no slouch during his rookie season. Colvin is also quite decent in the nickel when he's on the field (he missed six games due to injury and suspension in 2016) but Johnson has also proven to be an effective replacement. Myrick is a bit of a project but offers 4.3 speed and a higher ceiling than anyone else on the roster right now.

S (5) 21st

#39 Tashaun Gipson: C+, 95%
#42 Barry Church: B+, 95%
#23 James Sample: D, 10%
#25 Peyton Thompson: C, 0%

Johnathan Cyprien busted out with a career year in 2016, but he won't be missed very much thanks to the signing of Church. Gipson is a passable free safety but nothing special, which drags down the overall ranking here a bit. If Sample can stay healthy he would be the No. 3 ahead of Thompson, but that's no guarantee now that he's missed his first two years with various injuries. Thompson was decent in minimal snaps last year and won't have trouble holding off any competitors for the backup free safety job.

Overall: 18th

It's weird to say this but the Jaguars appear to have put together what looks to be a top-five defense. Jackson, Campbell, Bouye, Gipson, and Church are all free agency signings in the last two years, while Day, Fowler, Jack, and Ramsey were drafted during the same period. That is a lot of key contributors imported into a defense within a small window of time. Now expectations should be tempered a bit as we've seen free agents struggle with their new teams in the past and sometimes young guys need a couple years to really hit their stride. But this defense has what looks like a very solid corps of players, most of which are 27 or younger.

However the offense still looks pretty bad, and not all of that hinges on Bortles getting his act together. Robinson is pretty much the only proven quality pass catcher on the entire offense, while tight end is a verifiable wasteland at the moment. Fournette could make the running game pretty formidable, butthe OL will need a bounce-back performance from Albert and a smooth debut from Robinson to be effective.

They look to be about a year away from seriously contending, if they can add a couple more playmakers on offense in the coming offseason.

OFF: 28th
QB: 28th
HB: 10th
WR: 25th
TE: 29th
OL: 16th

DEF: 4th
DT: 13th
ED: 15th
LB: 8th
CB: 2nd
S: 21st

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