Can Josiah Scott, a rookie cornerback with the Jacksonville Jaguars, make enough of an impression in training camp to earn substantial playing time this season?
Josiah Scott isn’t someone who immediately stands out when you talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars and their recent draft class.
The cornerback isn’t the biggest at his position. He wasn’t drafted on one of the first two nights of the selection process. He also has a lot of competition in front of him, with a role as a nickel corner waiting for him if he is able to take time away from veteran D.J. Hayden.
But looking at how Scott played at Michigan State in college and knowing the Jacksonville Jaguars are a team no one is giving a chance to shine this season, the situation Scott is in may be the perfect match for him and his new football team.
“They said, am I ready to go in and play a slot? I definitely am,” said Scott via The Florida Times-Union, who also will be a special teams contributor. “I think that’s what they’re expecting of me, is to go in and play nickel and special teams and contribute.”
The secondary is one area of concern on this roster. The Jaguars added plenty of bodies in free agency and the NFL Draft, but finding the right fit for everyone, which includes first-round cornerback C.J. Henderson is one of the first priorities of the coaching staff. And once the players are allowed to practice on the field, it will be important to see how prepared the rookie class, including Scott, has committed to memory in the classroom this offseason.
The front office traded Jalen Ramsey last season and then sent A.J. Bouye to Denver for a fourth-round draft pick, the one the team used to bring Scott in. Now, competing against a veteran who has played well in a Jaguars uniform the previous two seasons, the rookie’s work is cut out for him once again.
“He’s not the tallest kid [5-foot-9, 185 pounds], but I think he compensates with athleticism, speed, toughness,” said Mark Ellenz, the Jaguars’ director of college scouting. “I think he’s got a little more of a quieter personality, but you can tell his football intellect and how important football was to him.
“Again, this was a kid who walked on campus as a freshman and earned a starting job. He’s had to overcome some injuries in his career and bounced back.”
Scott could become the surprise of the draft class based just on sheer desire. The Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff needs players to come in and take their opportunities and develop quickly. Since Scott is expected to be a contributor on special teams, his spot on the roster that much more valuable.
The coaching staff doesn’t know what it will see out of Scott on the practice field just yet, but from everything he has said and is working on, it could be one of the best performances from the rookie class in training camp.