Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 players to watch against the Giants

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The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New York Giants later today. It will be the second chance to watch the progress made by many of the Jaguars players and it will present the first chance to watch some of the new additions and other players.

Whether it’s taking a longer look at a guy who impressed in Week 1 of the preseason or hoping that a player who struggled last week can up his game, there’s plenty to watch in this matchup. The preseason is mostly an evaluation tool and discovering how players respond in game situations is key.

Another primary goal of the preseason is to stay healthy. The Jaguars had both starting tight end Julius Thomas and starting strong safety Johnathan Cyprien injured in Week 1 of the preseason. Fortunately, they won’t miss time during the regular season, but that type of scare is exactly what teams hope to avoid in the preseason.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

May 28, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Jared Odrick (75) during OTAs at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

1) Jared Odrick, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jared Odrick is one of the key free agent additions for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He signed a big 5-year, $42.5 million contract with the Jags in the offseason and is expected to deliver. He is going to man one of the defensive end spots but is versatile enough to play across the defensive line, giving the Jaguars a valuable starter and situational player.

Week 2 of the preseason is going to be his first game action of the year, having missed the previous week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many fans, myself included, want to see what he can do and how he will be used by the coaching staff.

Unfortunately, I figure we’ll see just a taste of Odrick tonight. Hopefully it’s enough for all of us to want to see more.

The Jaguars are hoping to force some turnovers against the Giants tonight. Last week they didn’t have a single defensive line starter play, but bringing guys like Odrick should bolster the pass rush and the overall competence of the unit, hopefully allowing the defense as a whole to make some plays.

Odrick has a lot of expectations placed upon him in both run defense and pass rushing and he’s expected to rise to the challenge. Tonight will be the first time we get to see how he does with his new team. He had some success with the Miami Dolphins before being the odd man out as they made some big offseason additions. It should be to the Jaguars’ benefit.

Next: A young pass rusher hoping to improve