Look Who's Talking
The Jaguars, led by general manager Gene Smith were at both the East and West team practices this morning and afternoon respectively at the Florida Citrus Bowl practice fields. During the East team's morning practice, the Jaguars took in a dominating performance by North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was suspended for what would have been his senior season in Chapel Hill.
Never one to shy away from small school players, Smith and the Jaguars had to be impressed with a pair of smaller school cornerbacks in Buffalo's Josh Thomas and Richmond's Justin Rogers. The 5'10", 196 lb. Thomas is expected to run in the low 4.4's. Although lacking prototypical size, Thomas plays very physical and was solid in run support. Justin Rogers, 5'11", 183 lbs. was a first-team All-CAA selection for the third consecutive season in 2010. Rogers has been clocked in the 4.3's and could be a mid to late round selection.
A player who the Jaguars spoke with is South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain. Although most fans would question another defensive tackle selection following last year's pick of Tyson Alualu and 2009 third-round pick Terrance Knighton, the Jaguars can certainly use depth at the position. At 6'2", 305 lbs., McClain can be a pass rushing defensive tackle while also being prototypical 3-4 defensive end size. McClain is currently projected as a late-round pick.
During the afternoon's West practice, the Jaguars took an interest in Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle. Enderle showed a solid arm and compact delivery, but was erratic on long and intermediate throws. It's likely that Enderle could be groomed into a long-term backup.
Another player that Jacksonville showed interest in that could fill an immediate need is Enderle's teammate, Idaho strong safety Shiloh Keo. Keo is a throwback at the position as the 6'0", 224 lb. former Vandal is a thumper. Keo led Idaho in tackles in 2010 which earned him second-team All-WAC honors.
With a lack of production from their linebacking corps this season, the Jaguars may look at some wholesale changes. They did some early shopping as they showed interest in Fresno State outside linebacker Chris Carter and Central Michigan inside linebacker Nicholas Bellore. The 6'1", 246 lb. Carter was voted 2010 WAC Defensive Player of the Year, and he can fit in both a 4-3 or 3-4 system. Central Michigan's Nick Bellore is more of a classic inside linebacker as the 6'1", 252 lb Chippewa was a first-team All-MAC selection after his junior season. Bellore was asked by the Jaguars if he could play in both 4-3 or 3-4 systems.
Although the Jaguars seem to have nice depth at the tight end position with Pro Bowler Marcedes Lewis as their starter, and flex player Zach Miller, Gene Smith took notice of another big man during the West practice. Portland State's Julius Thomas is a great target for quarterbacks as he stands 6'5", 251 lbs. Thomas, who lettered in basketball for four years as a Viking, caught 32 passes for 474 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. Thomas looked like a natural ball catcher and his basketball background would lead one to believe that he's an athlete.
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