Projecting the final 53
By Zoltan Paksa
The 3rd week of the preseason means 2 things: 1; the regular season is on the horizon. 2, the final rosters will be announced soon as well. So because of that; here is Black&Teal’s projection about the ’10 Jaguars final 53 players. I explain everywhere where the situation is not a no-brainer; why I selected those players you can read in bold; I signaled the names of the starters with slanted letters. I also mention those who will making the practice squad as well.
Offense (25 players):
QB: (2) David Garrard and Luke McCown, in that order. 3rd QB Trevor Harris maybe can make the practice squad. Maybe not…
RB: (3) Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings, and Deji Karim. No argument here. Chad Kackert is a lock for the practice squad.
WR: (6) Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas; Jarett Dillard, Troy Williamson, Tiquan Underwood, and Kassim Osgood. I think the Jaguars go with 6 wideouts this year. Clarence Denmark can make the practice squad.
TE: (3) Marcedes Lewis, Zach Miller, Ernest Wilford. Zach Potter might have a shot to make it 4; but I expect him to be a lock for the practice squad.
FB: (2) Greg Jones*, and Montell Owens. Brock Bolen is a practice squad lock. Except…
*: Because of his high salary; and because the Jaguars use the FBs lately to just block; Greg Jones might get traded away for –most likely- a safety or maybe for a pick when the final roster will be announced! If that happens; Brock Bolen is the starting FB of this team!
Offensive line: (9) Brad Meester, Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, Uche Nwaneri, Kynan Forney, Jordan Black, Vince Manuwai, John Estes, and Kevin Haslem. This part is the most intriguing part of the whole roster, especially at the guard position. As you can see, I think Kynan Forney will win the other staring guard spot. That means Manuwai and Justin Smiley battling for the backup position. In ideal scenario; the Jaguars would keep Manuwai and Smiley; but that would mean 5;5 million $(3 million is Vince’s salary; Smiley has reportedly 2;5 million after the paycut) would be sitting on the bench. That will not happen. Not in Jacksonville. And because of Smiley was injured almost all the time in training camp; I give my vote to Vinny. I not trust the guard position for a player who is always battling with injuries. Not to mention that the (conditional) draft pick; what the Jaguars gave for him to the Dolphins have a condition. Smiley must make the final roster or the pick is terminated! So the Jags can get back there 7th round pick. Haslem was overexposed in the preseason; so I think the Jaguars would lose him in very short notice; if they put him to the practice squad. Many thinks Estes was better at center then Nwaneri so far; so I think he will stay on the active roster too. Daniel Baldridge; the other (very tall; and quite good) UDFA rookie T will make the practice squad. He is lock there.
Defense (24 players):
Defensive line: (9) Aaron Kampman, Tyson Alualu, Terrance Knighton, Derrick Harvey, Larry Hart, Austen Lane, Leger Douzable, Attiyah Ellison, and Jeremy Mincey I thought a lot about who will be the 9th D-lineman; and I voted for Mincey; because he can play DT and DE; and he is a high motor guy; and he missed this roster so many times because of injury. But if Aaron Morgan, the UDFA rookie DE/DT can make this team; that will be not a surprise either. If not he is a lock for the practice squad. Maybe Mincey and Morgan can make the team. I’M not 100% sold on Ellison yet. UDFA rookie DT Ko(mmoyan) Quaye is a lock for the practice squad.
LB: (6) Darly Smith, Kirk Morrison, Justin Durant, Russel Allen, Tony Gilbert, Jacob Cutrera. The first 4 names are set. I think Gilbert has the best shot to be the 5th LB; because he knows the system and he can play special teams. The 6th will be I think UDFA rookie Jacob Cutrera; and Kyle Bosworth will make the practice squad.
CBs (5): Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Scott Starks, Michael Coe, Don Carey. I would love to see William Middleton as the 5th CB; but Gene will keep his “darling” Don Carey on the roster; even with our huge concerns with his coverage abilities. Middleton is a heckuva ST player; and a solid CB. Scotty Starks is the teams nickel corner. Scotty McGee, who is also a corner; will be listed at ST.
Safety (4): Gerald Alexander, Anthony Smith, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge. This was the other big position battle, -next to the guards spot- in training camp. And you see someone is missing from the list. Yeah I think Reggie Nelson is done with this team; unless he doesn’t produce his best (2) game(s) ever in the next 7 days. He will start in Tampa; but that is a message to Gerald Alexander. And what Tyron Brackenridge is doing on the list? He is a good CB who playing a lot at safety this training camp and in the preseason as well. There is a Plan B for this position. I spent a few lines by trading Greg Jones for a safety. This is a position, where Gene Smith most likely adds a brand new player. If that happens; Next to Reggie Nelson, Sean Considine or Tyron Brackenridge can get waived as well. Courtney Greene is a lock for the practice squad
Special teams: (4 players)
PK Josh Scobee; P Adam Podlesh; LS Jeremy Cain; and PR Scotty McGee. No arguing here.
Practice Squad: RB Chad Kackert; WR Clarence Denmark; TE Zach Potter, FB Brock Bolen –if Greg Jones stays with the team- T Daniel Baldridge; DT Ko Quaye; LB Kyle Bosworth; S Courtney Greene; and if he not makes the final 53, DE/DT Aaron Morgan
So the final roster is set. We will monitoring the remaining preseason games; espcially the Tampa game; and see what kind of changes can we discover. But Jack Del Rio said on Wendesday; the final roster will be set after the Tampa Bay game. So I think after Saturday we will now even more accurate then now; who the final 53 will be.