Jaguars Camp Competition- Tight Ends
The competitors: Marcedes Lewis, Zach Miller, Ernest Wilford, Zach Potter, Mike Caussin
The youth and inexperience of the Jaguars wide receiving corps will force the Jaguars to lean heavily on their tight ends in the passing game. Although none of the Jaguars current tight ends have had more than 45 catches in a single season, this is a group with plenty of promise.
If you look at the stat sheet solely, Marcedes Lewis has been somewhat of a first-round disappointment. The game film tells an entirely different story. Lewis has been a punishing blocker since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2006 and is amongst the leagues best blockers at his position. Lewis has been under-utilized in the passing game as his 6'7", 275 lb. frame is a great target for any quarterback. After suffering a series of drops in his first few seasons, Lewis corrected his hands last season and led all NFL tight ends with a 16.2 yards per catch average.
The "other Zach Miller" is expected to do big things this season. Virtually nobody knew Zach's name when the Jaguars selected the former college quarterback in the sixth-round from Nebraska-Omaha, but Miller's transition to tight end looked extraordinarily natural as he ran solid routes, showed great burst and a toughness that the Jaguars were missing with their last quarterback conversion project. The Jaguars see him as a mismatch in passing situations as he is too fast for most linebackers and too big for the majority of defensive backs.
Ernest Wilford will have the inside track on winning the job of third tight end as the veteran put up a solid contribution for the team last year after being switched from his natural wide receiver position to tight end. Wilford is mainly a pass-catching type of tight end, but he is a willing blocker. Still, his 235 lb. frame makes him unlikely to line up and do anything more than chip defensive ends.
Zach Potter spent much of 2009 on the Jaguars practice squad, but was promoted to the active roster late in the season as registered his lone NFL reception in the Jaguars season finale at Cleveland. The former collegiate defensive end made a switch to tight end last season, but unlike Zach Miller, Potter will not figure into the passing game much. Potter is built for run-blocking at 6'7", 280 lbs., and could help in the Jaguars rushing attack.
Mike Caussin is an undrafted rookie that played his college ball at James Madison. The former third-team all-CAA selection caught 25 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns as a senior. The 6'5", 252 lb. tight end is certainly a project based on the level of competition he faced in college.
How will it all shake out? Marcedes Lewis is the entrenched starting tight end and Zach Miller is also guaranteed a roster spot. The third tight end spot is Ernest Wilford's to lose as the team has always liked him and he's an experienced player. It's possible that the Jaguars could keep four tight ends and the fourth would likely be Zach Potter. If Potter doesn't make the team, he still has practice squad eligibility and would likely end up there. It would be a long-shot for Mike Caussin to go undrafted from James Madison to a 53-man roster spot.
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