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Jaguars rookie rundown: Preseason Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars rookies made their case to make the 53-man roster in their final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the NFL preseason was much more exciting for some teams than for others. Some coaches rested their starters entirely. Others had their first-team play only the first drive. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, nearly the entire first half against the Miami Dolphins was one last trial run before the start of the regular season.

This was immensely entertaining for fans, who had a chance to witness a newly fortified Jaguars team in action.

And gosh, did they impress.

While more time for the starters meant fewer opportunities for the rookies, a couple made early appearances with the starters, while others were still able to make a splash in the second half. This was despite the game being cut short after an injury to Dolphins WR Daewood Davis. Let’s take a look at who was able to impress in the final preseason game.

Weekly Standouts:

OT Anton Harrison: The Jags’ first-round pick started his second drive with a holding penalty that negated a 17-yard gain by Travis Etienne. He was otherwise solid alongside the rest of the OL and should be a key piece in anchoring the line starting Week 1.

RB Tank Bigsby: Bigsby took his first snap of the game with the first-team offense, starting off moderately well with 3 carries for 13 yards. However, he ended the drive with a costly fumble on the 1-yard line, cutting short what would’ve been an 80-yard TD drive. He was able to display a couple of nice runs on the following drive, bursting through tackles for additional yards, including the monster effort below. Etienne is still the clear RB1, but expect multiple weekly touches for Bigsby as we enter the regular season.

OLB Yasir Abdullah: Another outstanding performance by Abdullah, who started his first drive by intercepting Skylar Thompson- his second pick thrown to a Jags rookie in as many drives. After a strong preseason, expect Abdullah to see the field in Week 1.

DB Erick Hallett: Hallett made up for a rougher performance last week with a great interception off of Thompson on his first defensive drive. He ended the night with 4 tackles and 1 pass defended. While his coverage skills leave room for improvement, this was a big step up for Hallett, who is fighting for a spot on the roster/practice squad.

WR Elijah Cooks: Cooks logged his first catch with 18 seconds left in the first half in the midst of a Jaguars two-minute drill - a nice extension catch for 10 yards that he astutely ran out of bounds. He had two more catches, ending the night with 3 catches for 35 yards. As one of Rourke’s favorite targets, the abbreviated game certainly cost Cooks a few catches, but he did make the team’s initial 53-man roster.

LB Ventrell Miller: Miller led the defense with 5 tackles and 1 QB hit, though he left the game early with a lower leg injury. Miller will miss the full 2023-24 season with an Achilles injury, Doug Pederson said on Monday.

Other Notable Performances:

TE Brenton Strange: Strange first appeared on the stat sheets with the second-team offense, logging a 15-yard reception for a first down. There were fewer opportunities for the rookie TE, who ceded much of the first-team blocking snaps to Luke Farrell. Still, he will certainly see the field early in the season.

CB Christian Braswell: Two steps forward, one step back. Braswell had a rougher night with two identical illegal use-of-hands penalties in consecutive drives. He otherwise logged 2 tackles on the night and also made the roster.

WR Parker Washington: It was a quiet game for Washington, who had one kick return for 17 yards, no punt returns, and no receptions.

DT Raymond Vohasek: Vohasek was also relatively quiet during the game, though he had a notable tipped pass at the line of scrimmage at the beginning of the second half. He also had a questionable hit on Dolphins RB Salvon Ahmed that was lucky to avoid a penalty.

CB Kaleb Hayes: Though his time on the field was cut short, Hayes was solid in coverage and logged 1 tackle.

OLB DJ Coleman: Coleman logged 3 tackles on the night, including a couple of nice tackles near the line of scrimmage. He has been fairly consistent in the run game throughout the preseason.

LB Dequan Jackson: Dequan Jackson had 3 tackles on the night, as well as a penalty for 15 yards.

The Rest:

CB Divaad Wilson: 0 tackles, 0 passes defended

FB Derick Parish: 0... anything

WR Jaray Jenkins: 0 receptions

Did Not Play:

S Antonio Johnson: DNP due to hamstring injury.

DE Tyler Lacy: DNP due to undisclosed reasons.

OL Cooper Hodges: DNP due to patellar injury


This preseason has been as exciting as any I can recall in recent history, in large part thanks to the 13 rookies the Jaguars drafted in the 2023 NFL draft and the numerous UDFAs who were kept around to compete. We saw glimpses of what made rookies such as Harrison, Bigsby, Strange, and Abdullah such compelling draft prospects, and we were enthused by the potential flashed by UDFA WR Elijah Cooks. While many rookies made the roster, others will stick around on the practice squad. And as we are in the novel position of having depth, a few other rookies will find their homes on other teams.

Jaguars rookies offered many reasons for optimism this preseason, and we can expect a handful to make impacts in the year ahead, as early as Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. Which rookies will you be looking out for in the season opener?