Aug 17, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Will Ta

Jacksonville Jaguars Preseason Recap – Pro Football Focus


The Jacksonville Jaguars open the season against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, but before we transition into games that matter, let’s recap some noteworthy preseason performances.

 

Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Matt Scott (5) throws the ball during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Field. Miami Dolphins defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus has been awesome enough to include their advanced metrics for the preseason this year so we’re going to use those numbers as our launching point. While any statistic derived from a small sample size should be taken with a grain of salt, we can at least discuss how relevant these numbers might be. Here are some of the overall grades that caught my eye this preseason:

QB Matt Scott: (-7.4) overall grade, 3rd worst of any quarterback

Matt Scott went undrafted this year in a relatively weak quarterback class and he showed why this preseason. He has some natural gifts – mainly his athleticism – but he’s very raw mentally and needs a lot of coaching before he can see a regular season NFL game. The only two quarterbacks who graded out worse this preseason were Landry Jones (-8.8) and, of course, Tim Tebow (-8.1). Scott managed to hang around on the practice squad so we should get another look at him next year.

LT Eugene Monroe: (+7.0) overall grade, 2nd highest rated tackle

Eugene Monroe was bested by former Jaguar Tony Pashos (+7.9) for the top tackle grade this preseason, but Monroe was far and away the most consistent player in Jacksonville. His pass block grade (+4.8) also rated out as the 2nd best for tackles and his play helped Blaine Gabbert secure the starting job in week 2. Monroe is in a contract year and he’ll get consideration for a midseason contract extension if his play continues at such a high level.

G Uche Nwaneri: (-3.3) overall grade, 17th lowest rated guard

Uche is an interesting player to study; he’s been a very steady contributor on the offensive line as a run blocker over the last several years, but his pass blocking has almost always been mediocre to below average.

Uche Nwaneri PFF Grades

Year

Pass Block

Run Block

2008

-10

-1.7

2009

4.9

1.8

2010

-0.5

2.2

2011

0.4

4.2

2012

-5.2

5.4

2013 Preseason

-2.7

-1.2

Nwaneri’s had a few years of good pass blocking, but he’s generally performed better in the run game. He’s never had much help on the right side of the line; that will change this year with the addition of Luke Joeckel. The Jaguars don’t have an alternative right now, but Uche is a player who is going to be in the discussion for roster cuts next year.

 

Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Jordan Todman (30) during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

RB Jordan Todman: (+3.4) overall grade, 6th highest rated running back

Jordan Todman snuck onto the roster on the strength of terrific performances in the 3rd and 4th week of the preseason and his PFF numbers support that decision. Todman helped his case by showing competence in picking up rushers in the backfield (+0.5 blocking) and maintaining a solid 7.7 yards/attempt on 27 carries. He’s going to have to fight to get carries in a crowded backfield, but he showed the ability to contribute and could stick around.

FB Will Ta’ufo’ou: (+6.0) overall grade, highest rated fullback

I was one of the many people disappointed to see Lonnie Pryor cut at the deadline (fortunately he snuck onto the practice squad), but a deeper look at Will Ta’ufo’ou’s performance this preseason shows why the decision was made. Ta’ufo’ou’s grade was almost double the second best fullback’s (John Conner at +3.1) and his blocking grade (+5.6) was the best by a massive 3.0 point margin. Pryor was by no means bad (+0.7 overall and +0.8 blocking), but the statistical analysis favored Ta’ufo’ou by a considerable amount.

We’ll be using Pro Football Focus every week throughout the season to breakdown games and performances at key points (after Week 4, Week 8, etc.) so come back and check it out.

- Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

 

 

Tags: Eugene Monroe Jacksonville Jaguars Jordan Todman Matt Scott Pro Football Focus Uche Nwaneri Will Ta’ufo’ou