The Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) have gotten significant contributions from this year’s crop of draft picks – varying from starters to key role players. Let’s take a look at how the Jaguars' stars of the future fared in Sunday’s 24-12 loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
DE Josh Allen (Round 1, 7th overall)
After notching his 10 sack of the season a week ago, Allen was largely ineffective in Sunday’s loss. Allen, who briefly exited the game last week, played 42 snaps against the Falcons. Aside from Dawaune Smoot’s sack, Atlanta’s offensive line did a tremendous job keep the Jaguars defensive front at bay. Allen will look to rebound in the season finale against the Colts.
RT Jawaan Taylor (Round 2, 35th overall)
The blunders that plagued Taylor early in his rookie campaign have all but vanished. The athletic tackle looks more and more comfortable each week and has cut down on his mental errors. His technique has improved by leaps and bounds, and I expect a move to left tackle over the offseason.
TE Josh Oliver (Round 3, 69th overall)
Oliver was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 18 with a back injury.
LB Quincy Williams (Round 3th, 98 overall)
After an uneven season in which he appeared in 11 games (8 starts), the Jaguars placed Williams on injured reserve on Dec. 11.
RB Ryquell Armstead (Round 5, 140th overall)
Armstead played 4 snaps on offense in Sunday’s victory, carrying the ball once for 2 yards. The Jaguars fell behind early once again -- and were forced to push the ball downfield. Fournette handled the lions share of the work once again, carrying 15 times.
The running back rotation this season seems off. Armstead, a player who flashed earlier this season, has the ability to create a spark to a stagnant offense. Perhaps next week he’ll get that chance.
QB Gardner Minshew (Round 6, 178th overall)
Minshew once again failed to provide a spark on offense. While the offensive struggles weren’t all entirely his fault – as we’ve said, the wide receiver room could stand to be revamped – but his sudden drop-off is concerning. Minshew, who yielded a paltry 41.9 completion percentage against the Falcons, has legitimate accuracy, mechanical, and pocket presence issues; when he did get the ball off, his receivers were blanketed.
As I’ve stated the past two weeks, the Jaguars will need to invest a mid-round pick on a quarterback, to push Minshew for the job in training camp.
DT Dontavious Russell (Round 7, 235th overall)
The former Auburn Tiger was once again a healthy scratch on Sunday. Given the trend, it would seem he is destined for the inactive list for the remainder of the season, though it would make sense to give him some snaps next week to see what they have going into 2020.
RB Devine Ozigbo (UDFA)
Ozigbo appeared in his eighth NFL game, but played exclusively on special teams. Third on the depth chart behind Fournette and Armstead, Ozigbo deserves some offensive snaps next week, so the team has an idea of what they have going into next season and can alter the roster accordingly.
S Andrew Wingard (UDFA)
Wingard returned to his special teams duties last week, and starting two games in place of an injured Ronnie Harrison. Last week, it was recent free agent signing Marcus Gilchrist who occupied the 20 snaps that would have presumably gone to Wingard, but this week Cody Davis played 18 snaps as the primary third safety. This is a position that needs to be addressed in the draft.
WR Michael Walker (UDFA)
Walker played in his sixth NFL game. The Boston College alum saw time as the primary kick returner, returning 2 kicks, including a long of 30 yards.
CB Brandon Watson (UDFA)
Mid-season practice squad call-up has played in all seven games since his promotion, serving as a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor. He has two tackles on the season.
TE Charles Jones (UDFA)
Jones was declared inactive against the Falcons. Promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 18, Jones was active for his first three weeks on the active roster, but failed to generate any offensive stats.
Tyler Gauthier (UDFA)
Gauthier was signed off the Patriots’ practice squad on Dec. 10. The athletic center signed with the New England after the draft, and was among the final casualties on cut down day.
He was listed as inactive in the clash against the Falcons.
LS Matthew Orzech (UDFA)
The 24-year-old undrafted free agent appeared in his fifteenth game as the Jaguars’ long snapper.