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In just over 48 hours, the Jacksonville Jaguars will need to make a significant and difficult step -- finalizing the first 53-man roster. 

Each year, teams start camp with 90 players before being forced to waive or release nearly half of the team before Week 1. Such is the case again this year, with the Jaguars set to reduce their roster from 80 to 53 on Tuesday afternoon. 

Following an 0-4 preseason that saw the backups get plenty of reps, the next two days will be filled with some of the most difficult decisions the Jaguars will face in 2022.

“It’s a chance to evaluate the whole thing. We've got a couple days here to do that," Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said following Saturday's 28-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

"We’ll get in tomorrow and watch the tape with the players and make the corrections and all that. The players will be off on Monday and we have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. It’s always tough this time of year. I told the guys it’s a tough part of our business and a lot of guys today made a statement for a possible roster spot or practice squad spot and those are all things that we have time to evaluate here in the next couple of days.”

It is worth noting the first 53-man roster is far from a final picture. There are also waiver wire moves worth monitoring, the practice squad, and players who are kept on the first 53-man roster for procedural reasons, such as allowing them to be on the in-season injured reserve as opposed to placed on the preseason injured reserve, which would shut down a player for an entire season.

With a full training camp and four preseason games in the books, who do we think makes the Jaguars first 53-man roster? 

Quarterbacks (2): Trevor Lawrence, C.J. Beathard.

Released/Waived: E.J. Perry

C.J. Beathard still looked a little banged up in the third preseason game according to Doug Pederson, so perhaps the Jaguars make him a post-53 injured reserve designation and bring back rookie quarterback E.J. Perry. With the regular-season injured reserve rules this year, Beathard could return after four games. The Jaguars could just keep him as the No. 2 quarterback and hope he recovers during the regular-season while still on the active roster.

Running backs (4): James Robinson, Travis Etienne, Snoop Conner, Mekhi Sargent

Released/Waived: Ryquell Armstead

I would expect this to be a position the Jaguars look at on the waiver wire. They likely need a fourth running back considering the injuries James Robinson and Travis Etienne are coming off from last year. As for in-house options, Mekhi Sargent had a solid preseason and may have more special teams value than Armstead, whose missed block on a punt led to a blocked kick on Saturday,

Tight ends (4): Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, Chris Manhertz, Luke Farrell

Released/Waived: Gerrit Prince

Not much drama here. The Jaguars have had their top four tight ends more or less locked into the roster since the spring, though Gerrit Prince did have enough flashes to warrant a practice squad look.

Offensive line (9): Ben Bartch, G; Brandon Scherff, G; Cole Van Laren, G; Will Richardson Jr., T; Tyler Shatley, C; Luke Fortner, C; Cam Robinson, T; Jawaan Taylor, T; Walker Little, T

Released/Waived: Darryl Williams, Coy Cronk, K.C. McDermott, Badara Traore, Nick Ford

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It wouldn't surprise me if Will Richardson makes the 53-man roster and is then placed on injured reserve, giving him four games to recover. If the Jaguars were to keep any of the waived linemen, I think it would be tackle Badara Traore, who could have a chance to be elevated if Richardson is placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

Wide receivers (6): Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, Jamal Agnew, Tim Jones

Released/Waived: Laquon Treadwell, Jeff Cotton Jr., Kevin Austin, Willie Johnson

There are several schools of thought here. Do the Jaguars go with seven wide receivers and just keep all of Tim Jones, Laviska Shenault and Laquon Treadwell? Do they keep Treadwell due to his ability to play special teams and block? Do they give Shenault and Treadwell's experience the nod over Jones' fantastic preseason? Ultimately, I think the Jaguars opt to keep Shenault for the year to try to salvage his potential, while Jones gets the nod over Treadwell as the backup outside receiver due to his speed and big-play potential.


Safety (5): Rayshawn Jenkins, Andre Cisco, Andrew Wingard, Daniel Thomas, Rudy Ford

Released/Waived: Josh Thompson, Brandon Rusnak

Rudy Ford had a strong preseason and has consistently looked like a core part of the Jaguars' special teams unit, earning him a spot on the roster. Daniel Thomas finished preseason strong and has special teams value, while Andrew Wingard is the clear No. 3 safety.

Cornerback (5): Shaquill Griffin, Tyson Campbell, Darious Williams, Tre Herndon, Chris Claybrooks

Released/Waived: Montaric Brown, Gregory Junior, Xavier Crawford, Benjie Franklin

Neither of the cornerbacks the Jaguars drafted make it in this scenario, a result of the numbers game along the offensive line. Montaric Brown would have the best chance, while free-agent addition Xavier Crawford is also a tough player to cut after a good preseason and camp.

Linebacker (8): Foyesade Oloukun, MLB; Devin Lloyd, MLB; Chad Muma, MLB; Shaquille Quarterman, MLB: Josh Allen, OLB; Travon Walker, OLB; K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB; Jamir Jones, OLB

Released/Waived: Da'Shaan Dixon, Rashod Berry, Tyrell Adams, Chapelle Russell

Da'Shaan Dixon and Jamir Jones could be a coin-flip, but the tried and trued method of determining these battles often comes down to the reps. Jamir Jones was on the field in the rotation ahead of Dixon all camp, though Dixon did have a better preseason. This says a lot, too, since Jones has had a strong preseason himself.

Defensive line (7): Foley Fatukasi, DaVon Hamilton, Roy Robertson-Harris, Arden Key, Dawuane Smoot, Jay Tufele, Adam Gotsis

Released/Waived: Raequan Williams, Israel Antwine, Auzoyah Alufohai

Jay Tufele played almost 100% of the defensive snaps on Saturday, logging a staggering 86% of the defensive snaps. The Jaguars were short on defensive linemen for the night, but it meant a ton of run for the second-year defender, who had an up-and-down game. He and Israel Antwine seems like another coin-flip.

Special teams

Kicker: James McCourt

Punter: Logan Cooke

Long snapper: Ross Matiscik

Released/Waived: Jake Verity.

The Jaguars' short kicker battle for Week 1 seemed to come to a start and close on Saturday. James McCourt made a 54-yard kick, hit another shorter one and boomed three touchbacks, while Jake Verity missed his lone kick. Who knows if the Jaguars are done looking at kickers, but McCourt likely earned the Week 1 nod.