Although the Jaguars have kept several undrafted free agent rookies on their roster in the Jack Del Rio era, namely Montell Owens, Richard Collier, Tony McDaniel, and Brian Iwuh among others, 2008 is not the best year to earn a roster spot in Jacksonville due to the superior depth the team currently has. Still, the Jaguars signed 13 undrafted free agent rookies to contracts almost immediately following the draft, and each of them survived the initial five cuts the team made this Monday to make room for their draft picks.
Longshot of longshots:
WR Clyde Edwards, DE Alex Boston, CB Michael Grant
Edwards, Boston, and Grant are not bad football players, they are just competing for roster spots at positions that already have plenty of talented depth. The Jaguars will likely have to release a talented wide receiver due to all of their depth at the position, and Clyde Edwards is just a victim of numbers. Alex Boston is competing for a job at defensive end, and first and second-round picks Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves have guaranteed roster spots, and it is very likely that veterans Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward will also be members of the team. Throw in Jeremy Mincey, James Wyche, and Brent Hawkins, and the odds of Boston earning a spot are very slim. Cornerback Michael Grant must beat out fellow undrafted rookies Brian Witherspoon and Isaiah Gardner, as well as fifth-round pick Trae Williams, Rashod Moulton, and veteran Scott Starks for what could be one or two roster spots. It just isn't likely.
Odds aren't good:
TE Chris Brown, C/G Drew Miller
Although the Jaguars don't have world beaters from first to fourth-string at tight end and the offensive line, they have enough depth in which it will be difficult for these two players to make the final roster. Chris Brown must likely beat out Greg Estandia, Charles Davis, Richard Angulo, as well as fellow undrafted rookie Adam Bishop and veteran George Wrighster for what will likely be two roster spots behind starter Marcedes Lewis. Drew Miller must impress the Jaguars coaches and beat out some solid depth on the offensive line which includes Uche Nwaneri, Dennis Norman, Tutan Reyes, Pete McMahon, Andrew Carnahan, and Richard Collier. Realistically, Miller must beat out at least two of these players, and with his lack of pedigree and experience, this probably won't be the year he makes the 53-man roster.
Never say never:
TE Adam Bishop, CB Isaiah Gardner, WR Jeron Harvey, DT Theo Horrocks, LB Lamar Myles, CB Brian Witherspoon
The players mentioned above are all talented guys that offer some upside. Tight end Adam Bishop may have the path of least resistance, as he must beat out some veterans who haven't accomplished much in their careers. Defensive tackle Theo Horrocks may be the most talented player of the bunch, and he will have to beat out veteran Jimmy Kennedy, and still hope the team keeps an extra tackle, as John Henderson, Rob Meier, and Tony McDaniel appear to be locks, and Derek Landri seems to be pretty safe.
Wide receiver Jeron Harvey has looked fairly impressive in OTA's and mini-camp, but there is an awful lot of competition at the Jaguars wide receiver spot with Troy Williamson, Matt Jones, John Broussard, and D'Juan Woods all on the proverbial bubble battling it out for possibly one or two spots. Linebacker Lamar Myles was a productive player in college, but he must beat out Brian Iwuh, Tony Gilbert, and fifth-round pick Thomas Williams for what could be one or two roster spots.
Cornerbacks Isaiah Gardner and Brian Witherspoon are physically talented players, but they face stiff competition at a position in which experience is preferable. They must realistically beat out each other, then either fifth-round pick Trae Williams or veteran Scott Starks.
QB Paul Smith
The Jaguars have no young, developmental quarterbacks on their roster, and they were very determined to have Smith as a member of their team once the draft ended and he wasn't selected. Smith is a mobile quarterback who is very accurate in the short to mid-range passing game, and many feel that he can develop into a solid backup quarterback. The only way Smith will make the Jaguars 53-man roster is if the team decides to keep three quarterbacks, which is something they didn't do a year ago. Otherwise, there is a great chance Smith earns a spot on the practice squad.
FB Anthony Cotrone
Although Cotrone doesn't have a great deal of experience carrying the football or scoring touchdowns, he has everything that Jack Del Rio likes in a football player, which is size and toughness. Cotrone is a classic fullback who loves to pound people, and that will and attitude can't be taught. The former Maine Bear also showed very good hands in the Jaguars OTA's and mini-camps, and the Jaguars coaching staff is reportedly high on him. If Cotrone is going to indeed make the Jaguars roster it will be with a big special teams contribution, just like his former Maine teammate and current Jaguars fullback Montell Owens. Cotrone received great praise from Owens—
"He's grasped the concepts quickly. Right now he's under the radar, like most rookies are; but I think he will surprise a lot of people at camp."
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