Jaguars Mailbag: Who Has Stood Out and What Questions Still Remain?

Which players have made the most noise in camp, and what areas of the team still look like they need to be upgraded?
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With the Jacksonville Jaguars beginning to settle into in the full swing of training camp, we took to social media to take questions on the team's off day. After a few weeks of practices being opened to media, we have learned quite a bit about what the Jaguars may look like when they take the field on Sept. 13 vs. the Indianapolis Colts for Week 1.

In this week's edition of the JaguarReport mailbag, we take questions from social media on the receiver group, the depth chart, future issues and more.

Q: How has J.R. Reed and other UDFAs performed? Has Jarrod Wilson shown any progression? How have Tramaine Brock and Parry Nickerson performed? 

A: J.R. Reed hasn't really made any standout plays during camp. The Jaguars have a ton of players in the safety room right now, so it could be uphill climbing. As for Jarrod Wilson, he has looked in better command of the backend of the defense and has practiced with a noticeable sense of confidence, but he hasn't made any standout plays either. Tramaine Brock has been beaten by a good number of the team's receivers in one-on-ones or team drills, though he did have good positioning on a few DJ Chark catches. Meanwhile, Nickerson has had a few nice pass breakups over the course of camp.

Q: How has Leonard Fournette looked?

A: Leonard Fournette looks to be in great shape. We know that gets said every training camp for the last three seasons, but it is definitely true this year. He is slimmer and looks agile, decisive and explosive in and out of his cuts. He has had a good camp, which has maybe gone under the radar to a degree.

Q:  Has the defense added enough to be better than last season, or is the patchwork d-line to much to overcome?

A: Losing players like Rodney Gunter and Al Woods hurt because the team was likely going to ask each to play big roles along the defensive front. It also doesn't help the team lost out on adding Darqueze Dennard to the secondary because at this point it looks as if he could have been a valuable addition. Add in the absence of Yannick Ngakoue, and the Jaguars' defense has a lot working against them in terms of improvement. 

Q: Keelan Cole or Collin Johnson ?

A: They are two really different types of receivers, but each deserves a spot on the team. Keelan Cole is obviously more experienced, but his skill set is based more on explosive moment skills and solid route running. He is tall but has a smaller frame, but he can climb the ladder for a ball. Meanwhile, Johnson is 6-foot-6 and excels with the ball in the air. He is obviously not as fast as Cole, but he moves well for his size and frame.

Q: What area on the roster appears to be most exceeding your expectations and what area is falling further below your expectations at this point?

A: The linebacker group from top to bottom has been impressive. Joe Schobert has been one of the standouts of camp, while Leon Jacobs, Cassius Marsh and Dakota Allen have all made big plays. Myles Jack has been on and off at times, but he has made several splash plays in his own right. I would also say the secondary has so far not been quite what I expected it would be, though maybe my expectations were too high. 

Q: Haven’t heard much about local Shaq Quarterman or smoothie-king Ben Bartch; how are they looking at practice?

A: Shaquille Quarterman has been one of the most vocal defenders on the field during camp since he is the one calling the defense during reps when Joe Schobert isn't on the field. You can tell he is a natural run defender, and he has looked solid in special teams drills as well. As for Ben Bartch, he has exceeded our expectations for him. He has won a lot of one-on-ones throughout camp, including a few against Timmy Jernigan.

Q: Collin Johnson. Diamond in the rough? How much will we see him on the field this season?

A: While Collin Johnson has had a fantastic camp, it could be reasonable to think he has a larger role in 2021 than in 2020. The Jaguars have three veteran receivers on the last year of their contracts, so it could be hard for Johnson to play many snaps considering he is likely the No. 5 or No. 6 receiver on the depth chart. Still, he deserves some snaps one way or another. 

Q: What have you seen out of Tyler Davis so far? Could be a contributor or does he need much more development?

A: He hasn't looked as raw as we expected. It is clear he is a depth piece as of now, but he looks athletic and has shown good hands downfield. Give him some time still, especially when it comes to blocking.

Q: With all the injuries and opt outs in the DL, How has Davon Hamilton looked in camp? They might need him more than ever now.

A: DaVon Hamilton has really picked it up over the last couple of practices, which has included moments in which he has made even Brandon Linder look silly. He has really good feet for his size and he works tirelessly to shed blocks. He is getting better, which is good news for the Jaguars.

Q: How does our secondary look? Based on what I’ve heard in camp it seems like either our receivers are really good or our secondary is really bad.

A: It wouldn't be accurate to say it has looked good, but it also wouldn't be accurate to say it has been terrible. A lot of cornerbacks have made big plays in camp, but they have either struggled with keeping the Jaguars' various weapons in check or struggled due to the simple nature of practice. 

Q: Minshew is making a lot of fantasy headlines with this 1st round draft pick "campaign". But how is he actually looking out there in camp?

A: He started off a bit slow, but he has gotten progressively more comfortable in the new offensive scheme since then. He has had a terrific camp when throwing deep, hitting nearly every single target in perfect stride. He still has issues with throwing over the middle of the field, but his timing in the pocket looks to have improved as well. He is having a solid camp.

Q: What do you see as Chaisson’s role early in the season? Does he mainly play OLB with some DE on passing downs? Does he get more time at DE even on run downs because Josh Mauro is suspended?

A: At this point, I think K'Lavon Chaisson plays the same role Josh Allen did last season, which would mean he rotates at defensive end and plays some run snaps here and there but is mostly a third down player. The Jaguars badly need Chaisson to produce across from Allen, so it makes sense for them to not ask him to focus on strong side linebacker right now.

Q: Do you see any surprise cuts?  

A: Tramaine Brock is maybe the most notable name, just based off of performance. Jacksonville has numerous young cornerbacks who have performed better over camp than Brock, who has struggled to stick in coverage more often than not. He has the most experience in the room, but there is little upside left.

Q: Do you think they are going to bring in a DT, maybe with a trade, or will that happen closer to the deadline eventually based on record and how the team is doing, like it happened with Marcell Dareus?

A: A trade for a defensive tackle wouldn't surprise me, but it does appear the Jaguars are higher on their line than most on the outside are. With that in mind, a trade closer to the middle of the season makes more seasn than the Jaguars pulling the trigger on one now.