As the draft has been analyzed here at Black and Teal and on several other websites, the Jaguars’ needs have become fairly obvious with wide receiver and defensive end emerging as the most glaring holes. But the draft isn’t just about filling needs – it’s also about providing depth, especially in the later rounds. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Jaguar’s current roster and see where we could use an immediate upgrade as either a starter or a back-up.
*Note that Jaguars.com does not have a roster up right now, so this is non-official. The age is also listed next to the player and the projected starters are italicized.
|QB||Blaine Gabbert(22)||Chad Henne(26)||Dan LeFevour(25)|
|RB||Maurice Jones-Drew(27)||Rashad Jennings(27)||DuJuan Harris(23)||Deji Karim(25)|
|FB||Greg Jones(30)||Brock Bolen(27)||Montell Owens(27)|
|WR||Laurent Robinson(26)||Jarett Dillard(26)||Taylor Price(24)||Chastin West(24)|
|WR||Mike Thomas(24)||Cecil Shorts(24)||Brian Robiskie(24)|
|TE||Marcedes Lewis(27)||Zach Miller(27)||Zach Potter(25)||Colin Cloherty(24)|
|C||Brad Meester(35)||John Estes(25)|
|OT||Eugene Monroe(24)||Cameron Bradfield(24)||Kevin Haslam(25)|
|OT||Eben Britton(24)||Will Robinson(27)||Daniel Baldridge(26)|
|OG||Uche Nwaneri(28)||Will Rackley(22)||Jason Spitz(29)|
|DE||Jeremy Mincey(28)||John Chick(29)||George Selvie(25)|
|DE||Austen Lane(24)||Aaron Kampman(32)||Aaron Morgan(23)|
|DT||Tyson Alualu(24)||D’Anthony Smith(23)|
|DT||C.J. Mosley(28)||Corvey Irvin(26)||Terrance Knighton(25)|
|LB||Daryl Smith(30)||Clint Session(27)||Kyle Bosworth(25)||Jammie Kirlew(24)|
|LB||Paul Posluszny(27)||Russell Allen(25)||Stephen Franklin(23)|
|CB||Rashean Mathis(31)||Aaron Ross(29)||Morgan Trent(26)||T.J. Heath(24)|
|CB||Derek Cox(25)||Drew Coleman(28)||Ashton Youboty(27)||Kevin Rutland(24)|
|S||Dwight Lowery(26)||A. Owusu-Ansah(24)||Terrell Whitehead(23)||Darcel McBath(26)|
|S||Dawan Landry(29)||Chris Prosinski(24)||Courtney Greene(25)||Rod Issac(23)|
|P||Nick Harris (33)||Spencer Lanning(23)|
Of the Jaguars’ 22 offensive/defensive starters, only 4 are 30+ years old. In fact, the Jaguars only have 5 players – Greg Jones, Brad Meester, Daryl Smith, Rashean Mathis, and Aaron Kampman – who are 30 or older. The Jaguars have a relatively young roster, and the core of the team is still mostly developing.
Except for the positions we mentioned earlier (WR and DE), everyone should be fairly comfortable with who is starting. Ideally, DE and WR will be addressed somewhere in the draft so that we have a rookie WR starting opposite Laurent Robinson and a rookie DE starting opposite Jeremy Mincey.
Austen Lane is a great follow on twitter, but he needs to be healthy and more consistent to earn a starting role.
A deeper look at the roster will show that I took some liberty at assigning the defensive tackle spot. I assumed the worst-case scenario for Knighton in that he won’t be healthy enough to start at the beginning of the year because of his freak-injury. Couple this with D’Anthony ‘yet to see the field’ Smith and the defensive tackle spot suddenly becomes an area of need and lacking in depth.
Although injuries ravaged the Jaguars’ roster for most of 2011, it did give some younger players the chance to prove they are serviceable back-ups. Players like Morgan Trent, Colin Cloherty, and Cameron Bradfield stepped into the line-up and were at the very least respectable.
In a perfect world, the Jaguars’ draft would end up in a way where three key positions of need – WR, DE, and DT – are addressed in the early rounds while the later rounds in Day 3 are spent on depth and “Jars on the Shelf”. But unfortunately as Jaguar fans know, we don’t live in a perfect world and we know that you can’t reach for players at certain positions. You never know who could fall in your lap in rounds 1, 2, or 3 and if you see a player who can contribute in a significant way, even if he may not start immediately, you need to take him.
Overall, Jaguar fans should be pretty excited about the upcoming season. The roster as it’s currently constructed is very young and on the upswing and the draft will add even more youth and potential.