The Jaguars have high expectations for rookie

The Jaguars have high expectations for rookie Rashean Mathis, who was drafted in the second round out of Bethune Cookman. Mathis, the Buck Buchanan winner (nation's top defensive player in division 1-AA), didn't disappoint at a recent Jaguar mini-camp. The word inside of Jaguar camp was that the 6-foot-1 and 200 pound cornerback/safety was very comfortable in the Jaguar defensive scheme and that the Jacksonville native was way ahead of the learning curve for rookies.

In 2003, the Jaguars plan on using him at cornerback and as a nickel back in passing situations. According to a league source, Mathis was so impressive that he has made defensive back Donovan Daruis expendable. Expect Darius to be wearing some other colors the following season. Some inside the Jacksonville organization are not pleased with the slapping of a franchise tag on Darius to begin with because of the cost.

Vince Manuwai, a third round draft pick out of Hawaii, also had an impressive showing at the Jaguar mini-camp. The 6-foot-2 and 309 pound guard looks like he will be penciled in for a starting job once training camp begins in late July.

Late last week, a rumor surfaced that starting quarterback Mark Brunell could be waived by the Jaguars in June. As of June 2nd, that either has yet to materialize or the team has changed its mind since then. According to a league source, the Jaguars were very happing with progress of back-up quarterback David Garrard. The Jags management is looking to the future and they wouldn't mind youth competing for the starting quarterback role. Another factor is the cost of Brunell's salary.

Stay tuned…

Dave Peters

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