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Jaguars Mailbag: Biggest Sleeper Ahead of Training Camp?

In this week's mailbag, we break down the Jaguars' biggest sleepers on offense and defense ahead of camp, how we see targets shaking out and more.

Each week during this year's season, Jaguar Report will take Jacksonville Jaguars-related questions from our readers across social media and answer them in a question-and-answer format, giving readers a chance to have their voices heard.

You can submit your questions every week by tweeting them to the Jaguar Report Twitter handle or by submitting them here.

This week, we talk about the biggest sleepers ahead of camp, who could see the most targets when the season starts and more.

Q: Is there anything noticeably different about Trevor's mechanics or just overall arm talent this offseason compared to last?

A: I don't think there is anything different about his arm talent. Lawrence has always had an incredibly special arm and ability to fit the ball into tight spaces at any level of the field, something that showed with top-tier flashes at times as a rookie. So it would be hard for his arm to look that much better because even during his rough rookie season, his arm talent was already as good as it gets. 

Are there any clear differences in his mechanics? It is hard to tell at this point, but I do think his overall release is a bit tighter and more condensed. It feels like he is getting rid of the ball quicker in part because the ball doesn't seem to be traveling too far from his body in his wind-up. Players' mechanics typically revert to what is natural when the bullets are truly flying during the season, but Lawrence knows there are areas in his technique he needs to clean up entering this year.

Q: Who are sleeper players on offense and defense entering camp? Who could be a surprise starter?

A: On offense, I will go with Tim Jones and Luke Farrell. I don't think either will be a surprise starter, but Jones had a terrific spring and profiles well after posting good production and athletic metrics in college. The Jaguars need a No. 6 wide receiver to step up and Jones is one of the receivers who impressed the most this spring. As for Farrell, he is someone the Jaguars legitimately think can play both tight end positions. He has shown good progress this spring and seems like a young player they are genuinely excited about.

On defense? I would go with Adam Gotsis and Tre Herndon. Gotsis has a chance to earn a starting role on a new-look defense, while Herndon seems to be a safe bet to be the No. 4 cornerback and is just one injury away from becoming a starter again after two years of being a backup.

Q: Will Kevin Austin make the roster?

A: I think there is of course a scenario where it could happen because I think the Jaguars are going to embrace competition under a new staff. The Jaguars' top-five receiver spots seem locked up between Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, and Jamal Agnew, but there is room for a sixth receiver. My guess as of today is that receiver would be Laquon Treadwell considering he has special teams value, excels as a run-blocker and has experience with Trevor Lawrence. Austin struggled at times with drops in the spring and seems like a good candidate to stash on the practice squad, but perhaps he explodes this fall and wins the job from Treadwell.

Q: Are we sure the best kicker isn't in free agency right now?

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A: I don't think anyone can be sure of that, including the Jaguars. The Jaguars are going to enter training camp hoping one of Andrew Mevis or Ryan Santoso does enough to make them feel comfortable at kicker entering Week 1, but neither player is a sure thing to actually do that. Santoso has been an inconsistent performer in limited kicking reps in the past, while Mevis is an undrafted rookie who would require some courage to invest and trust in. I don't know what the answer to Jacksonville's kicker problem is, and I am not sure they know yet, either.

Q: Who gets the most targets on the offense? Second most? Basically, who to target in fantasy lol

A: I think Christian Kirk gets the most targets because of the nature of the offense. He is going to start in the slot and will likely get his fair share of targets simply because this scheme focuses on the middle of the field and intermediate game. Kirk is also the best separator among the Jaguars' receivers, so I think his natural ability to get open combined with his role in the slot will lead to quite a few targets over the course of the season.

As for the second-most, I am going to go with Marvin Jones. Jones is set to be a starter and I think he is who we will see on the field with Kirk when the Jaguars go to 12 personnel looks. He is the only one among the Jaguars' top-four pass-catchers who has any past experience with Lawrence, and I think that will matter.

Q: Does Chad Muma start by the end of the season?

A: No, I don't think Chad Muma starts at all this year unless the Jaguars have injuries in front of him at inside linebacker. Linebacker is a position where there simply just isn't a lot of rotation and movement on a week-to-week basis, and the Jaguars will clearly give Foyesade Oluokun and Devin Lloyd every chance they can get to stay on the field after investing a major contract and a first-round pick into each. Muma is a good player who could potentially see snaps in specific sub-packages as a rookie, but I would be shocked if he starts a single game as a rookie without an injury taking place to Oloukun or Lloyd first.

Q: Who is the Week 1 nickel back?

A: I think it is absolutely going to be Darious Williams, which will more or less be a new role for the former Los Angeles Rams cornerback. Williams has been predominantly an outside cornerback for the Rams, playing just over 100 snaps in the slot in his career. During that time, Williams appeared in 43 games and started 26, including 23 starts over the last two seasons. Almost all of these snaps and starts came on the outside, but Williams looks like the lock to start inside in Jacksonville as Shaquill Griffin and Tyson Campbell lineup on the outside.

Q: Is it concerning the Jaguars are starting camp so close to the Canton trip? 

A: I don't think so. The Jaguars will get some important reps during the Hall of Fame Game against the Raiders, and it is important to remember that a few days' difference in training camp won't make much of a difference. The Houston Texans started later than the Jaguars last year and even had a couple of extra days off during camp, and they went on to beat the Jaguars twice last year. This is a non-issue, to me.

Q: Which free agent would you sign today to make the roster?

A: It is still Will Fuller. I know he has had issues staying on the field for multiple reasons in recent years, but when healthy and at his best he is one of the most lethal deep threats in the entire NFL. Fuller was a big reason Houston's passing game was so successful a few years ago and I think adding him to a non-starter role where expectations are more tempered could do wonders for him. Sign him as a backup who goes out for a few go routes a game like Tyron Johnson should have done and ride from there.