The Jacksonville Jaguars are one week away from the preseason being finished and while 90 percent of the roster is likely not going to change there are a few tweaks at the bottom of the roster that still haven’t been decided. Who will be the final one (or two) receivers to make it? What about linebacker? Will they carry nine or ten offensive linemen? How many young defensive backs will there be?
Who makes this roster and who doesn’t? Here are my predictions for who I think will be on the 53-man roster come Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
QB: Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew, Alex McGough (3)
RB: Leonard Fournette, Ryquell Armstead, Alfred Blue, Thomas Rawls (4)
TE: Geoff Swaim, Josh Oliver, James O’Shaughnessy (3)
WR: Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark, Chris Conley, Tre McBride, C.J. Board (6)
OL: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jawaan Taylor, Will Richardson, Tyler Shatley, Josh Wells, Cedric Ogbuehi (9)
EDGE: Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen (2)
DE: Calais Campbell, Dawuane Smoot, Lerentee McCray (3)
DT: Marcell Dareus, Taven Bryan, Abry Jones, Dontavius Russell, Datone Jones (5)
LB: Myles Jack, Quincy Williams, Leon Jacobs, Najee Goode, D.J. Alexander (5)
CB: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden, Tre Herndon, Breon Borders (5)
FS: Jarrod Wilson, Cody Davis (2)
SS: Ronnie Harrison, T.J. Ward, C.J. Reavis (3)
K: Josh Lambo (1)
P: Logan Cooke (1)
LS: Matt Overton (1)
The biggest difference between this prediction and last week is at wide receiver. Terrelle Pryor and Keelan Cole haven’t shown much this preseason — they’ve combined for just three catches and Cole hasn’t looked good at returning punts, something they’re trying to do to give him an opportunity to find a role on this team — but Tre McBride and C.J. Board have. If you’re running with the hot hands, you’ve got to give the two young guys who are consistently catching passes and finding ways to maximize their reps in the preseason. Cut bait and run with Pryor and Cole.
Datone Jones has had great performances the last two weeks, leading the team in tackles last Thursday. You’ve got to find a way to keep him on your roster.
I had Joe Giles-Harris making it last week, but D.J. Alexander was given so many snaps in Week 3 and he tied for the lead in tackles with six (with one for a loss) that I think he edges him out for the fifth linebacker spot.
Nothing is changing my mind about Tre Herndon and Breon Borders earning a spot on the 53-man roster. They’ve outplayed everyone who isn’t a lock in the top three — Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and D.J. Hayden — that I think they’re a shoo in for the fourth and fifth cornerback spots.
If T.J. Ward does sign with the Jaguars, there’s no reason to think he won’t be a part of the 53-man roster. And if it’s not Ward, I think they look elsewhere when final cuts are made. That means five safeties, so you’ve got to trim somewhere else. It’ll probably be quarterback (sad!) but I hope it’s tight end because Ben Koyack hasn’t shown much this preseason.