Intriguing position battles for Jaguars in 2024 will shock some fans

• Iron sharpens iron, and these 5 Jaguars will benefit from competing for a role in 2024.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Cam Little (39) on the field during Friday's rookie minicamp. The
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Cam Little (39) on the field during Friday's rookie minicamp. The / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
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Pass Rusher No. 3: Trevis Gipson vs. Myles Cole (maybe)

The Jaguars will be switching to a 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. They'll still show a few 3-4 looks at times but Travon Walker and Josh Allen will mostly play with their hand on the ground instead of a standup position. The duo combined for 27.5 sacks between the two in 2023 but the Jags are still figuring out who their No. 3 will be next season.

The front office added Trevis Gipson in free agency. He had his best season playing in a three-point stance. Maybe he can enjoy a career revival in Jacksonville, but until further notice, he's a reclamation project. Rookie Myles Cole has earned lots of praise due to his amazing physical tools but he'll have to hone his skills before he gets a role in the rotation.

Sophomore Yasir Abdullah was a non-factor as a rookie. He's switching to off-linebacker in Nielsen's scheme. Given his limited size, the switch could benefit him but head coach Doug Pederson says that he could still get snaps in pass-rush situations. The team's brass could also add Bud Dupree, who's still unsigned and played for Nielsen last year, but the pass-rush rotation remains a work in progress.

Kicker: Cam Little vs. Riley Patterson

This is arguably the biggest position battle the Jaguars will hold in training camp. Having failed to take care of the kicker position, they selected Cam Little in the sixth round of this year's draft. Not long after, they gave Joey Slye, who had just signed in free agency, their walking papers.

Little's 82.3 percent completion rate at Arkansas was a school record. He never missed an extra point and went a solid 7-of-11 in attempts from 50 yards out. That said, he'll need to fend off incumbent Riley Patterson for the kicker job.

Back in 2022, Jacksonville claimed Patterson off waivers. He had a rough stretch in the middle of the season but finished strong, making 16 of 17 field goals. However, he didn't have the leg strength for kickoffs or routinely nail 50+ yards attempts. That's why the Jags replaced him with Brandon McManus last year.

The McManus signing didn't work out, though, and Jacksonville brought back Patterson in the offseason. He'll now have a chance to compete for the job he previously lost.

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