The Jacksonville Jaguars get younger as the roster grows deeper
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, adding more players means more competition throughout the team’s young roster.
I cannot help but think there was a huge smile on the faces of David Caldwell and Doug Marrone as the Jacksonville Jaguars made their final pick of the NFL Draft later Saturday afternoon. There were 12 picks, lots of attention paid to the defensive side of the ball, and two players within the first five picks who could start on the offensive side of the ball.
If Caldwell and company didn’t knock the ball out of TIAA Bank Field, he surely made an impression those naysayers who already have him out the door following the 2020 NFL season.
The Jaguars aren’t expected to sniff the playoffs for a third straight year, but having young talent on the field and new faces in the locker room should make it interesting.
As I told one colleague this past week, at least we will have plenty to write about this season. If this team happens to shock us and proves it can win tough games in tough situations, then the grip of the leash around the front office’s neck should ease up a bit.
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We aren’t sure what the team’s schedule will look like yet, other than knowing the teams set to face these Jaguars. And whether the team still travels to London amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a topic for consideration. Right now, even with free agents on board and players drafted within the past 48 hours, it’s anyone’s guess how this season plays out.
"”This is about as satisfied as we’ve been,” Caldwell said via John Reid and the Florida Times-Union. “We feel good about the players we got and filled some needs: secondary, linebacker – we’re going into the season with some really good depth at those positions. Obviously, defensive line, like I said from the beginning, we really want to set up the front seven for success.”"
The defense was behind the eight-ball a bit, as evident of the picks early on in the draft process.
C.J. Henderson will be an immediate starter at cornerback opposite Tre Herndon. K’Lavon Chaisson figures to be a starter at outside linebacker and possibly in a new 3-4 scheme at times. Laviska Shenault, Jr. is a big wide receiver who could start with DJ Chark. Devon Hamilton figures to be in the team’s interior rotation at nose tackle.
Depth was a concern going into the Draft. Now, with every position being addressed except for running back, there is more to work with. What happens to the rest of the roster, and whether the Jaguars try to acquire veterans to help balance a very young core is still an option.
"”We didn’t acquire picks to get less players,” Caldwell added. “We acquired picks to get more players, and like I said, there were so many players that we liked that at the end of it. We were like, ‘I wish I had a couple more picks in the seventh round’. Where normally you’re like searching for names and we felt like there were still guys with good value out there. So hopefully, some of those guys as free agents here.”"