clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Five things to watch (Preseason Edition): Jaguars vs. Ravens

NFL: JUN 11 Jacksonville Jaguars Minicamp Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Jaguars open up their preseason with the first of four exhibition games tonight, starting with the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. While there will likely be little in the way of action from most of the prominent starters, there is none the less NFL-caliber football being played, finally. With that said, here are five things to keep an eye on as the teams take the field tonight.

“The Stache” leads the offense

It’s a near certainty that starting quarterback Nick Foles won’t be seeing the field tonight for any actual in-game action, which means we’re going to get a long first look at rookie Gardner Minshew. The team entered camp with the idea that the sixth-round pick from Washington St. would leap well into the back up spot, and thus far that’s mostly been the case. A solid performance tonight in what’s likely to be at least a half of playing time, could seal the deal even this early, and lead to the release of a guy like Tanner Lee soon after.

A safety concern

If there is a position group where we are likely to see some genuine time on the field tonight, it’s at the safety position, where Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson have spent most of camp ironing out the kinks as the duo enters their first full season as starters. The results have been a so/so camp thus far for both, and the two were hit for a couple of big plays in the two teams’ joint practice sessions early in the week. Look for the two young safeties to be tested by Doug Marrone and Todd Wash to judge their progressions tonight.

April names, play August games

Tonight will give us our first look at team’s two most high-profile rookies, as the seventh overall pick defensive end Josh Allen, and second round pick right tackle Jawaan Taylor suit up for live action. Both have flashed at times in camp, with Allen running almost exclusively with the starters since camp opened, while Taylor’s ascension into the starting offensive line unit has been a more gradual effort. It will be interesting to see both how many snaps Allen gets, and with which unit Taylor walks out on the field with.

Separation anxiety

While the team’s receiving depth chart has begun to clearly define itself, with Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark, and Chris Conley the clear starting trio when the Chiefs arrive a month from today, the rest of the receiver room is fighting for spots 4-6. So far it seems that Keelan Cole and Tyrell Pryor Sr. have the inside track, but keep an eye out for some of the undrafted free agents like Tyre Brady and C.J. Board, whom have both had impressive days during camp.

Running amok

Another guy we likely won’t see hit the field is Leonard Fournette, so the eyes will be squarely on who if anyone steps up and displays the ability to distinguish themselves as the teams compliment to Fournette in the passing game as well as a potential replacement should he not be able to go during the regular season. The team spent all off-season seemingly adding as many backs as they could get under contract, including fifth round pick Ryquell Armstead. A few of those, however, including Armstead, have been limited through camp with injury or simply haven’t shown enough to set themselves apart as yet. Look for recently signed Roc Thomas to get a few touches in the second half as well.