As we head towards the July 24th date when players report for training camp, it’s a good time to take a look at which spots on the roster are open for competition. While there are plenty of positions where the role of starter is solidified by either a veteran or a high-round draft pick, there are plenty of holes on the rosters waiting to be filled by multiple candidates.
Today we take a look at a position that might be in flux throughout the season – free safety.
At the beginning of the 2013 season, the Jaguars had the luxury of a veteran in Dwight Lowery to man the free safety spot. Eventually sidelined by injuries, Lowery was replaced by 6th round draft pick Josh Evans. As one would expect from a 6th round pick, Evans struggled mightily through his first few games, but showed some promise towards the end of the season. Still, Evans ended up splitting reps with 2nd year veteran Winston Guy in the last 6-8 games.
With strong safety Johnathan Cyprien expected to make a big leap in his second season, the safety spot alongside him is going to be key to the success of the Jaguars’ secondary. Cyprien is expected to do a little bit of everything in run support and in coverage, but a free safety with the range to cover the back end would free him up to take chances on big plays over the middle.
Josh Evans is likely heading into training camp 2nd on the depth chart, due mostly to a surgery on his foot that caused him to miss OTAs and mini-camp. Winston Guy has already received some praise from the coaching staff, and he could very well lock himself in as the starter if he has a good camp. Still, Evans will likely get some reps and every chance to compete for the starting role.
– Daniel Lago