Jaguars: 5 players whose stock is on the rise following minicamp
The 2021 NFL season is still a few months away but the Jacksonville Jaguars’ rebuilding project is already taking shape. Even though contact is not allowed at this point of the offseason, every live rep is valuable and players will try to make the most of the ones they get. Keep in mind the Jags have a young roster and there could be several starting jobs available in training camp.
If these five Jaguars can keep their momentum going in training, they will enter the regular season in great shape.
5. Jihad Ward – defensive end – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars’ defensive line lacked depth last season. This was evident when they lost defensive end Josh Allen last season. Jacksonville’s defense posted just 18 in 2020 and just 12.5 were by the front four. The team’s brass fortified their unit this offseason and one of their additions is already making noise. The Jags signed Jihad Ward to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million earlier this year.
A second-round selection by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2016, Ward spent the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. There, he played under defensive line coach Joe Cullen, who brought him to Jacksonville once he was hired as their defensive coordinator. Head coach Urban Meyer was recently about Ward’s progress and had nothing but good things to say about him.
Meyer recalls the Illinois product from his colleges and says that Cullen’s comments about the kind of worker, teammates, and competitor he is were spot on. The head coach then said Ward’s been fantastic so far and believes he’s been a great addition. Last season, the defensive end appeared in just 26 percent of the Ravens’ snaps on defense. Don’t be surprised if he sees his playing time increase significantly in 2021.