Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; UCF Knights running back Storm Johnson (8) runs for a 40 yard touchdown during the second half against the Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars Surprise Rookie Contributor in 2014?

When David Caldwell was given the reigns as general manager, the roster he had to deal with was probably the least talented in the NFL. For rookies, a roster devoid of talent is ideal because it gives them a better chance to latch on and get some playing time. This is especially true for late round picks who are often cut within a year or two.

In 2013, the Jacksonville Jaguars had several day 3 rookies play significant time – Ace Sanders, Josh Evans, Denard Robinson, and Demetrius McCray all saw time on the field. Only time will tell if any of them are long-term pieces, but they at least got the chance to prove themselves in the regular season.

Hopefully a day will come when 6th and 7th round picks are dreading being drafted by the Jaguars because the roster is so stacked, but the team isn’t quite there yet heading into 2014. This means there will likely be some  day 3 draft selections playing significant snaps. Here are the candidates and the likelihood they play a decent amount in 2014:

Round Drafted
% of Contributing in 2014
Aaron Colvin45%
Telvin Smith595%
Chris Smith525%
Luke Bowanko625%
Storm Johnson720%

Aaron Colvin is almost certainly starting on the PUP list coming off of his injury, and even when he gets back he’ll probably have to sit behind a fairly crowded cornerback group until 2015. Telvin Smith should and will probably start at outside linebacker barring any injury. He can provide the speed this linebacking corps has desperately needed for the past several years.

Chris Smith is a young pass rusher – something this team needs – but he has to try and take away snaps from Chris Clemons, Jason Babin, Andre Branch, and Ryan Davis. He may occasionally see time as a situational pass rusher, but he probably won’t start at any point. Luke Bowanko will get a sincere opportunity to win the starting center job, but he has to catch up to veteran Mike Brewster. Offensive lineman tend to get hurt, so there’s a non-zero chance Bowanko will be forced into the lineup at guard or center.

Plenty of people were excited about the selection of Storm Johnson, but there’s a reason he was available in the 7th round. Johnson has a long way to go as a pass blocker and ball security was a huge issue for him coming out of UCF. If Jordan Todman makes the roster, I’m not sure how many touches Storm will get backing up Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson.

Which rookie do you think will make the biggest contribution in 2014?

Which late-round rookie will contribute the most in 2014?

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- Daniel Lago



Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Aaron Colvin Chris Smith Jacksonville Jaguars Luke Bowanko Storm Johnson Telvin Smith

  • Bobby Postma

    What about Branson Linder? Lol. I think Telvin Smith will be the one in this crew

    • Matt Hoffman

      Linder wasn’t a day three pick. And I agree with you on Telvin.

      • Bobby Postma

        Yeah I just remembered that. Lol my bad. I don’t know why I thought he was a 3rd day pick. But I Am excited to watch Telvin play. Excited for Colvin too. So how many carries you think storm will get?

        • Matt Hoffman

          Not too many, based mainly on the fact that I expect them to ride Gerhart hard.

          • Bobby Postma

            And shoelace backing him up

    • Daniel Lago

      Yeah I was focusing on the round 4-7 guys here. Linder is most likely going to start so it wouldn’t really have been fun to include him in this discussion.