The Jacksonville Jaguars hit the field for the start of 2017 training camp on Thursday morning, which is open to the public, and fans can finally pick out who the “Boys of Summer” will be. Anyone who has been to training camps in the past know there is always a handful of players who fans think will end up being superstars because of how they perform during these first few weeks.
While most of us know it likely won’t materialize into anything, it is fun to try and pick out those breakout stars before it happens. A lot of fans thought when the team picked up Allen Hurns as an undrafted free agent he’d make the football team and play, but I don’t know if anyone thought he’d end up earning the contract he received. Everyone also remembers the legend of Cap Capi and Tyrone Holmes, but nothing materialized (at least on the Jaguars) for those players.
I thought it would be fun to pick a player on offense and defense who I think can be that breakout star during camp and the preseason. We’ll start first on the defense.
Breakout star on defense: Jarrod Wilson, safety
Part of how a player becomes a breakout star is they simply get a chance to play. For someone like Wilson, he got a chance for a lot of snaps because the team held the team’s two veteran starting safeties, Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, out of practice all during organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp. This pushed Wilson into the “starting” role and a lot of reps at the safety position, which according to some little birdies, he did a nice job with. Wilson was already a player who got snaps on special teams and with the giant hole at the backup position for strong safety, it’s wide open for someone like Wilson to step into. Given Wilson was signed as an undrafted free agent last season as well, the sky is the limit for him. He could eventually turn that role into being a starter if he truly does break out.
I think he’s going to be a name we hear a lot in the preseason however, in a good way.
So, who is the potential breakout star on defense you’re keeping an eye on for training camp?