The Jacksonville Jaguars have trimmed down their roster twice this offseason. First, from 90 players to 85, and from 85 to 80. On August 31, the Jags will undergo yet another round to get to 53. Will second-year tight end Ben Ellefson make the cut?
These arent’ uncharted waters for Ellefson, who was signed as a free agent after going undrafted last year. He had a sitdown with the local media before the Jaguars’ Week 3 preseason matchup versus the Dallas Cowboys and talked about a wide array of topics. The North Dakota State product talked about his mindset ahead of the preseason finale and the last round of roster cuts.
"It’s just a matter of making the most of the opportunity, you know, leading up to this point, practices, and then these, these three preseason games just doing what you can to show that you belong."
Ellefson spent 2020’s training camp with the Black and Teal but was ultimately waived before the start of the regulars season. The team promptly brought him back and signed him to the practice squad. He ended up appearing in seven games with four starts and hauled in one reception for ten yards.
Is there room for Ben Ellefson on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster?
Ellefson may be competing with fellow sophomore Tyler Davis for the same roster spot. In fact, there’s a good chance only one of them will survive the roster cuts on August the 31st. The Jaguars will most likely carry four tight ends into the season and three spots are already earmarked. Chris Manhertz, veteran James O’Shaughnessy are locks to make the team and it’s unlikely that the team will give up on rookie Luke Farrell so quickly.
So far, Ellefson has played 30 offensive snaps in two preseason games and has hauled in one reception for 13 yards. Davis has had a more productive offseason of the two, catching three passes for 20 yards and one trip to the end zone. The case could be made Davis currently has the end but the job could ultimately go to whoever has the better performance against the Cowboys.
Head coach Urban Meyer has previously spoken highly of Ellefson. Earlier this year, he said he, along with O’Shaughnessy, has improved significantly. The second-year tight end also told the media he’s gotten positive feedback from the coaching staff.
"They’ve seen a lot of improvement just in the past game. Especially in man and man, breaking away from man to man coverage, things like that. Obviously, getting stronger, being here with coach [Anthony] Schlegel the whole offseason was just another addition that I tried to add to my arsenal and so just being able to move a little bit better in space and things like that."
The Jacksonville Jaguars have shown they aren’t afraid of pulling the plug the preview regime acquired. Nevertheless, Ben Ellefson has shown upside over the last year. It wouldn’t make much sense to give up on him so quickly. In a room where there isn’t a true receiving tight end, he could ultimately separate himself from the bunch if given the chance.