Jaguars Training Camp Observations: DaVon Hamilton Makes an Impact on Tuesday

With another Jaguars practice in the books, who stood out and who needs to take a step forward?
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Another day, another Jaguars practice in the books. Tuesday's practice featured more intensity than Monday, which makes sense considering the team has a day off on Wednesday. 

So, who impressed during Tuesday's display on the practice field, and what could it mean for the Jaguars moving forward? We give our takes below. 

DaVon Hamilton stands out

With Al Woods opting out of the season before training camp began, it was always clear the Jaguars were going to need to lean on third-round rookie nose tackle DaVon Hamilton a bit more early on than they originally intended. But over the course of the camp, Hamilton has progressively flashed more and more, and on Tuesday he put it all together.

The No. 73 overall pick in April, Hamilton was especially dominant in one-on-one drills vs. offensive linemen. These drills are somewhat intended to make defensive linemen look better, but it doesn't mean Hamilton didn't show out. He beat A.J. Cann with a power move, pushed Tyler Shatley back into where the quarterback would be, ran through Blake Hance on a few occasions and, most notably, had an impressive stack and shed against starting center Brandon Linder, the best lineman on the team. Hamilton has heavy hands and moves well for a player of his size, and it looks like he is starting to get into a groove when it comes to matching his physical traits with what he has learned at camp so far. 

OL/DL one-on-ones provide interesting results

One-on-ones in the trenches are always some of the most interesting drills to watch. Even if the defender does have a slight advantage, you are still able to get a sense of the footwork and physicality of each player. Here are some of the most notable things we saw during Tuesday's one-on-ones.

  • Ben Bartch and Timmy Jernigan continue to have good battles. Bartch won some reps, including one in which he was able to anchor and stonewall Jernigan. Meanwhile, Jernigan won others, including one where he got Bartch on his heels and shed him on the way to the quarterback. Neither guy truly got the upper hand on the other on Tuesday, which has to be encouraging for Bartch since he is a fourth-round rookie.
  • Tyler Shatley had a tough day. Timmy Jernigan and DaVon Hamilton each gave him fits, especially when it came to then simply powering through his blocks. 
  • Dawuane Smoot was a standout. He beat Jawaan Taylor on a speed rush one rep, speed-to-power on another rep, and then came free on a stunt vs. Cam Robinson and Andrew Norwell. He was maybe the toughest block for anyone. 
  • Cam Robinson held his own against Josh Allen on a number of reps. Allen is the toughest competition for any Jaguars lineman in camp, so any success vs. Allen is worth praising. Robinson did a good job of sticking with Allen's speed and counter moves, showing improved foot speed compared to last season.
  • K.C. McDermott had a rough day thanks to Carl Davis, who had his best practice of training camp. Davis blew past McDermott and shed his initial block on several occasions, displaying explosion and penetration skills he had not yet shown with the Jaguars. 
  • Will Richardson was so-so. He had an encouraging rep vs. Josh Allen, but also whiffed badly on an inside move against Josh Mauro. He has gotten better over camp, but there is still a gaffe here or there. 
  • Andrew Norwell is playing with an edge. He didn't get moved much in the drills and he did his part to be physical until the sound of the whistle on each snap. 

Minshew to Eifert connection remains strong

Gardner Minshew and Tyler Eifert have had a solid connection all of training camp, and this pattern continued without a hitch on Tuesday. The Jaguars haven't had a tight end produce in the passing game on a consistent basis in several years, but they are hoping that can change with Eifert in 2020. As long as he stays healthy and continues to play like he has during camp, he could make good on the team's investment. 

The big play between Eifert and Minshew was a 20-yard gain during team drills. Josh Allen came screaming off of the left edge and was closing in on Minshew, but Minshew was able to fire the ball out just before Allen could get near him. The result? A perfect pass to a tightly-covered Eifert near the left sideline, a throw that would have been a first down and an impressive tight-window toss in any game. Later in practice, the two also connected on a deep pass near the right sideline, continuing their chemistry. 

Tre Herndon makes defensive play of the day

After some struggles against rookie receiver Collin Johnson a few days ago, third-year cornerback Tre Herndon has stepped up his game over the last several practices. He has been sticker in coverage and made more plays on the ball in recent days, and he made the play of the day for the defensive side on Tuesday.

During red zone drills, Gardner Minshew floated an accurate pass to Chark in the left corner of the end zone. Chark elevated for the ball and it looked like he would come down with the touchdown, just as he has most of camp. Herndon was able to get in a position to make a play on the ball thanks to physical coverage and good awareness, giving him the chance to knock the ball out of Chark's hands before the pass could be completed. Herndon is an important part of Jacksonville's defense this year, so plays like that are worth pointing out.

Terry Godwin produces in the red zone 

"Put it in reverse Terry!" 

That was the sound of Leonard Fournette as second-year receiver Terry Godwin took over during red zone drills toward the end of practice. A bit of a forgotten man after he spent most of last season either as a reserve or on the practice squad, Godwin caught three different touchdowns on Tuesday, along with a 30-yard gain on a deep pass from Mike Glennon toward the end of practice.

Whether it was vs. Tre Herndon, Parry Nickerson or Amari Henderson, Godwin's quickness helped him find open spaces in Jacksonville's secondary. He finished each play with good hands and he was seemingly open on each route he wan, making things easy for any quarterback who was throwing to him. Godwin faces a steep climb to making the roster, but he had a good day on Tuesday.

Musings

  • Collin Johnson had been pretty perfect until Tuesday's practice, but he let one ball hit his chest and drop to the ground during team drills, showing he may just be human after all.
  • CJ Henderson had a better practice than he had on Monday. He was smoother in coverage and was reacting to things a good bit quicker, not allowing any major completions in coverage.
  • Laviska Shenault continues to show strong hands across the middle during team drills. He really should be considered as the Week 1 slot receiver, especially if Dede Westbrook is out for an extended period of time.
  • Chris Thompson beat Joe Giles-Harris on a route out of the backfield during red zone drills and caught a nice pass from Gardner Minshew for a touchdown. Thompson has looked impactful as a pass-catcher all of camp.
  • Josh Allen was seen working with defensive coordinator Todd Wash and the team's strong side linebacker group (Leon Jacobs, Cassius Marsh) during some of the early parts of practice.