Each week during this year's offseason, 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.
This week we take questions on the safety position, James Robinson's role and more.
Q: I think the Safety position group as a whole has quietly gone under the radar as one of the better-improved units on the team. With the addition of Cisco and Jenkins, Thomas returning from injury after a good start to his rookie year, and fellow incumbents Wilson and Jones pushing for the starting roles or depth at the very least, I think they have an opportunity to surprise and help improve a defense that was awful in all phases last year. What are your thoughts on the Safety group?
I think the safety position improved a great amount this offseason. I am not sure Rayshawn Jenkins is going to be more than average starter, but he at least gives the Jaguars an athletic and versatile option at safety who fits the scheme. I was extremely high on Daniel Thomas during his rookie year and he has been one of the team's top playmakers in OTAs. Cisco should be able to push for a starting role quickly as well considering his range, play speed and ball skills are all on another level compared to the other safeties on the depth chart.
My best guess right now is we see Jenkins and Cisco start in Week 1, with Jarrod Wilson and Daniel Thomas battling for the third safety spot. Wilson has the most experience of any of the safeties, but he isn't as high-ceiling of a defender. It helps that the Jaguars are returning two defensive back coaches from last season, but it is hard to see him being handed a starting job like he has been for the last two seasons.
Q: I loved watching Andrew Wingard play in 2020. He made some important plays although he also blew some important coverages stepping up as a safety whilst continuing to be a playmaker on special teams. I haven't heard his name mentioned yet this offseason and he's clearly been bumped down the safety pecking order with our recruitment (which is probably for the best on balance). What are your thoughts on his individual development so far and what part do you see him playing for the team in 2021 and beyond?
I think he has been a good undrafted free agent addition. If the Jaguars picked him late on Day 3, they would likely still be happy with what they have gotten from him thus far. I think the Jaguars have added too many safeties this offseason for Wingard to have a chance to compete for a starting or even sub-package role, but I do think he still has a chance to make the team due to his special teams value. His intensity, effort and physicality all stand out on special teams and make him a player who is tougher to cut than your typical backup safety.
Q: Of all the more lowkey player additions, what is one you see working out better than expected and one you see absolutely falling apart (T-Law, Tebow and Etienne not included)
I think Malcom Brown is going to be a terrific starting nose tackle. The Jaguars' trade for him didn't make a ton of headlines since they dealt a late Day 3 pick and then signed him to a contract that isn't eye-popping, but he could be among the best additions the Jaguars made all offseason. He won't provide a lot in terms of a pass-rush from the nose tackle position, but he is one of the NFL's better run-defending nose tackles and is a terrific fit in the new scheme. He also gives the Jaguars a veteran to help ease DaVon Hamilton into a bigger future role.
As for the other end of the spectrum, I am curious about the addition of Carlos Hyde. It is important to have veterans throughout the locker room, but Hyde's presence could take important touches away from James Robinson. Hyde simply isn't a player who should be getting carries or snaps in the Jaguars' backfield considering their depth chart, but as long as he is on the roster he is likely to get playing time.
Q: Who is your guess on who the second QB is on the depth chart?
Gardner Minshew. I believe the Jaguars signed C.J. Beathard with the idea of him competing with Minshew for the second spot and even taking his place in any event Minshew was traded. I also believe the Jaguars' staff has now seen each practice enough to know that Minshew is the better quarterback and the better option as the team's backup. Until Beathard outshines Minshew, or until he at least gets some reps over him, Minshew should be considered the No. 2 quarterback.
Q: Let’s say you had a Madden-style cheat code. And you could supercharge 1 defensive and 1 offensive player (not Trevor) for the 2021 season, guaranteeing they’d play to their highest potential. Who would you pick to try and give the team the best chance to win?
Great question! I think there are a few different schools of thought here, especially when not factoring in Trevor Lawrence.
On offense, I would go with left tackle Cam Robinson. DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault should be considered due to their ceilings and what kind of weapons they would provide Lawrence. With that said, it feels more important for the success of the Jaguars' offense to have Robinson play at his highest level than the receivers. The receivers are already a solid group, even if they can play better. Robinson is already a solid starting left tackle, but him playing to his highest potential for a season would give the Jaguars a top-notch blindside protector to go with their weapons on offense and young quarterback.
On defense, I thought about Shaquill Griffin due to the impact of a lockdown cornerback, but I will instead go with Josh Allen. We have seen flashes of what Allen can be, especially as a rookie when he broke the Jaguars' rookie sack record and became the first Jaguars rookie to make a Pro Bowl. Allen's potential is that of a 15-sack player, a ceiling that would put him among the NFL's elites. Getting that kind of production off the edge would be refreshing for a Jaguars' defense that badly missed it last season.
Q: Are there enough touches to go around for both James Robinson and Travis Etienne or will one just be an afterthought when the other gets hot?
When it comes to a dynamic running back, it truly seems like there are never enough touches to go around. When there are two running backs, it makes it even tougher. With that said, I do think both players will factor heavily into the Jaguars' plans on offense in 2021 because I think the Jaguars will place a big emphasis on establishing an identity as a running team. That was Urban Meyer's identity at his past stops and it has been the same for both Darrell Bevell and Brian Schottenheimer. With how much I expect the Jaguars to run the ball this year, along with the fact that we will see Etienne taking reps in the slot and on the outside, I do think there is enough to go around for both. Enough to justify a first-round investment? Probably not, but enough for each to find success during the season.
Q: Will Tebow make the final roster?
This seems like a cop-out answer, but I truly don't know. If you are basing it just off of where he looks to be in his current development and on the tight end totem pole, the answer is probably no. But Tebow isn't just another tight end -- the sole act of the Jaguars signing him shows he is someone who will simply be evaluated differently. If Tebow looks like a mess during training camp when pads come on, I don't think Urban Meyer cuts him. If he looks competent in the sense of a No. 4 or No. 5 tight end, then I think they'd give him a look over Ben Ellefson. This is all to say I think he could make the team, but nothing we have seen over the last month has really given any indication one way or another.
Q: How has Jalen Camp looked during OTAs?
I didn't notice the sixth-round rookie much during the first few OTA practices open to the media, though his size and speed are noticeable during individual drills and as he runs routes. With that said, Camp had a terrific day of practice on Tuesday. He made several impressive downfield grabs, including a terrific touchdown near the sideline from Gardner Minshew. Camp's hands stood out in a big way on Tuesday. He already has the athletic skills, if he can continue to impress in his opportunities, he could give the Jaguars a tough call to make at the No. 6 receiver role.
Q: Which two players do you anticipate taking the majority of snaps this season at the 3-4 DE positions?
I think Roy Robertson-Harris is a lock to be the primary starter at one of the positions. He has experience at the position after playing it in Chicago and the Jaguars didn't pay him as much as they did to be a backup. He is going to start and will play a good amount of snaps, potentially the most snaps among any of the team's interior defensive linemen. After him, I think Jay Tufele is a sleeper since he is a fit at three-technique. I could also see Adam Gotsis filling the role. My guess as of now is Gotsis sees the most time at the other spot but the Jaguars see a healthy amount of rotation.