Jags Illustrated Round Table Discussion: The Jaguars are fresh off of a loss against the Jets in their first preseason game of the year, but there were plenty of bright spots last Thursday. What players experienced a rise in their stock following their performances last week?
Zac Blobner: Nick Marshall:
Separation is a word that defines Marshall in so many ways. He's had to separate his past from his present, as he finds himself in the NFL playing cornerback after years of playing quarterback in the SEC. Oppositely, he's had to eliminate separation on the field while trying to stick to receivers flying up the sideline. But most importantly, separation is the difference between playing time and the bench, a roster spot and searching for a job; and right now Marshall has a head start in separating himself from the rest of the Jaguars secondary.
Marshall's stock is rising after a good showing against the Jets in which he recorded a couple tackles and an athletic pass deflection. Furthermore, his camp competition did little to stand out with Dwayne Gratz & Demetrius McCray combining for 1 tackle. Aaron Colvin looked good with 3 tackles but his looming suspension hand-cuffs him. Marshall must continue to grow through out the preseason... As long as he does that, he will be a valuable asset in Jacksonville's defense.
Ben Freid: Yannick Ngakoue
Yannick Ngakoue was a third round draft pick out of Maryland. He was considered a pure pass rusher, who would be situational player for the Jags. In his limited time with the first team against the Jets, Ngakoue recorded a sack on Ryan Fitzpatrick on only ten snaps. With all the competition on the Jags defensive line, Ngakoue stood out with his speed and shiftiness off the line of scrimmage. Though he is young, Ngakoue stole the show on the defensive side of the ball in his first NFL game.
It wasn’t the fact he recorded a sack, but more so the sack itself. Ngakoue blasted off the edge and flew past the offensive line to attack a completely helpless Ryan Fitzpatrick. He showed off the chip on his shoulder he has been playing with all camp, and the tenacity was felt. He not only raised his stock, he took one step closer to becoming a bonafide starter.
There is still a lot of preseason to be played, and Ngakoue still has to prove himself. Though he still has his problems in the run game, his pass rushing skills cannot be denied and he is consistently improving. The future is bright for this young defensive lineman, and his stock will only keep getting higher.
Kerry Belkin: Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee has often times been a question mark for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's spent three years in the league, but much of that time has been spent on the bench due to injury. Coming into camp this year was no different.
Once again, Lee found himself with another question mark, another injury. In the first week of training camp, he injured his hamstring, and was doubtful to even play against the Jets last Thursday but still went onto the field. Lee caught four passes for 49 yards in the Jaguars' first preseason game, which isn't bad.
Ultimately though, what stands out is how they used him. Ideally, Lee is someone that helps stretch the field and adds another dynamic to an already great WR core. When his hamstring permits, of course.
Marqise performed well in his first preseason game this year, and showed flashes of why he's so highly valued by the Jags. His stock has risen, but as he gets more reps, it will most certainly continue to rise.