2006 Rookie Class - What To Expect

As the Jaguars 2006 rookie class enters their sophmore season in the NFL, we speculate about what the roles can be in 2007, of the Jaguars six draft picks that are all currently with the team.

1. Marcedes Lewis TE (first round, #28 overall)
    What he did last year- Marcedes Lewis' rookie season seemed to be hijacked from the very beginning. Lewis couldn't participate in all of the mini-camps due to his senior class at UCLA not graduating in time, which caused him to miss some valuable reps. Lewis was trying to get caught up to speed during training camp, when he suffered a high ankle sprain in the first preseason game at Miami. That injury caused Marcedes to miss a good portion of the first month of the season, and he never really caught up with the system that the Jaguars ran in '06. Lewis ended his rookie year with just 13 receptions for 126 yards, and one touchdown.

    What can we expect in '07?- Marcedes Lewis will finally have the full amount of practice time to get up to speed in the Jaguars new offensive system, led by offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Koetter emphasizes using two tight end sets, and utilizing the tight end in the passing game, much more than the Jaguars previous system under Carl Smith. Lewis will be a valuable weapon in the passing game in '07, and I expect him to have numbers in the area of 50-60 receptions, 700+ yards, and 5-7 TD's.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew RB (second round, #60 overall)
    What he did last year- Maurice Jones-Drew had one of the best seasons ever for a rookie as he set a franchise record for total yards from scrimmage with 2250, was third in the NFL in that category, and was third in the NFL in touchdowns with 16. Jones-Drew was arguably the Jaguars biggest star and personality off the field, and perhaps the teams' biggest weapon on the field as showed an ability to run past defenders, or run them over.
    What can we expect in '07?- More of the same. Jones-Drew still has somewhat of a chip on his shoulder from not winning the rookie of the year award, and he will try to take it out on opposing defenses, as he did in '06. I believe Jones-Drew's numbers will be down slightly, due to him splitting carries with Fred Taylor and the emergence of a better Jaguars passing game in '07.
3. Clint Ingram LB (third round, #80 overall)
    What he did last year- Maurice Jones-Drew may have been the biggest surprise of the Jaguars draft, but the emergence of third round pick Clint Ingram could have been nearly as valuable for the team. Ingram was forced into action when starting middle linebacker Mike Peterson went down for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Ingram filled in Daryl Smith's vacated outside linebacker position and responded by making plays and delivering big hits to opposing running backs, receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks.
    What can we expect in '07?- With a year of experience under his belt, we expect even greater things from Ingram. The Jaguars linebackers are as fast as any in the league, and Ingram should hold down that outside position for many years to come. Expect Ingram to improve on his 71 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one interception from a year ago.
4. Brent Hawkins DE (fifth round #160 overall)
    What he did last year- Brent Hawkins played the role of designated pass rusher for the Jaguars last season and caused havoc in his limited playing time. Hawkins has explosive speed on his way to the quarterback, and finished with two sacks in just six games, playing primarily in third and long situations. Hawkins season was cut short when he suffered a groin injury in a week seven game at Philadelphia.
    What can we expect in '07?- Hawkins will likely get more playing time in '07, barring injury, as the Jaguars seem to be a little thin at defensive end. Hawkins looked extremely fast in mini-camp, and the team hopes that he can someday grow into the role of every downs defensive end, despite his relatively small stature (6'2", 245 lbs.).
5. James Wyche DE (seventh round, #213 overall)
    What he did last year- James Wyche started the season on the Jaguars practice squad, and was lifted off the squad and onto the 53-man roster from week nine on. Wyche wasn't active for any games in '06.
    What can we expect in '07?- Wyche has an opportunity in '07 to make the roster at defensive end, being that it's a wide open competition at that spot. Wyche has solid size at 6'5", 262 lbs., and should compete to be put into the DE rotation, as well as special teams.
6. Dee Webb, CB (seventh round, #236 overall)
    What he did last year-Webb saw some action in 11 games in '06, mostly as a nickel corner and at special teams. Webb picked up an interception, had one pass defensed, and recorded 17 tackles.
    What can we expect in '07?- The coaching staff likes Dee Webb's measurables and speed. That being said, he must still beat out both Terry Cousin and Scott Starks for playing time and that won't be an easy task. If Webb will make the roster again it will likely be with a big special teams contribution.



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