Jaguars Most Intriguing Camp Battles

With the abundance of back-end roster depth this season, it is likely that the Jaguars will be forced to release some talented players. JagNation is now going to preview what is likely to be the five most intriguing camp battles, and who we believe will earn starting jobs and roster spots.

With the Jaguars offseason training activities officially underway, the team will begin the process of evaluating to put together the best 53-man roster possible.

1. Wide Receiver- Who stays? Who goes? Who starts? We think we know who the opening day starters will be, as the team paid a large sum of money to Jerry Porter in the offseason, and Reggie Williams earned a roster spot at the very least with his 10 touchdown receiving performance of a year ago. Our best guess at slot receiver is Dennis Northcutt, who fits the position well with his small stature and shiftiness.

As for which other players make the roster, nobody is a lock, and no cuts would be much of a surprise. Troy Williamson, Matt Jones, Mike Walker, John Broussard, Jeron Harvey, and Clyde Edwards are all battling it out for two or three positions. Our pre-camp prediction is that Mike Walker and Troy Williamson grab those spots, and if they keep six wide receivers, Matt Jones will be the sixth.

2. Secondary- Will Brian Williams start? If so, where? The Jaguars brought in some much needed depth and competition in the offseason by signing former San Diego Chargers cornerback Drayton Florence to a rich contract. We certainly believe that Brian Williams will be starting in the secondary, but we're not so sure where he's going to line up. It will all depend on the health of Gerald Sensabaugh, the Jaguars strong safety who had shoulder surgery which forced him to miss much of last season. In this morning's OTA practice, Williams lined up at a few different positions, including safety.

Our pre-camp prediction is that Williams starts at corner opposite Rashean Mathis, and Drayton Florence plays nickel. Sensabaugh and Nelson are the safeties. As for the depth, we believe both Scott Starks and Trae Williams will earn roster spots, as well as veteran Pierson Prioleau.

3. Starting linebacker- With the return of a healthy Mike Peterson, the Jaguars have a decision to make at the linebacker spots. We believe Peterson will return to the middle, and Daryl Smith will slide back over to the outside, and then the team will have a decision to make about which young, fast linebacker will earn a starting job, Clint Ingram or Justin Durant. Ingram had a fine rookie year, and then seemed to regress in his second season.

Our pre-camp prediction is that Justin Durant wins the starting weak-side linebacker job, above Ingram, and Brian Iwuh and Thomas Williams are kept for depth due mainly to their special teams abilities.

4. Starting defensive tackle- With the departure of Marcus Stroud, the Jaguars have an opening next to John Henderson at defensive tackle. Rob Meier has been the primary depth player for the team over the last few years, as he's able to rush the passer from the inside, and also versatile enough to play some defensive end from time to time. Others competing for jobs will be Tony McDaniel, Derek Landri, Jimmy Kennedy, and Theo Horrocks.

Our pre-camp prediction is that Tony McDaniel wins the starting job next to Henderson, and Landri and Meier will rotate in on passing situations.

5. Tight end- The Jaguars tight end roster depth is pretty much wide open after starter Marcedes Lewis, who is a former first-round pick. George Wrighster, Greg Estandia, Richard Angulo, Isaac Smolko, and Chris Brown are all vying for roster spots. Wrighster is the best athlete of the group, Estandia makes for a nice target at 6'8", Angulo is a veteran with good hands, and Smolko is extremely versatile. Brown is an undrafted rookie trying to make the roster.

Our pre-camp prediction is that George Wrighster, Greg Estandia, and Isaac Smolko all earn roster spots, and Estandia and Smolko will be utilized mostly on special teams.


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