Jaguars Week 7 Rookie Report: Draft Class Makes Huge Impact Vs. Chargers
With a chance to go into the bye week with some positive momentum at stake, the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to get the job done in Los Angeles in Week 7, losing 39-29 to the Chargers to drop to 1-6.
But within that loss was a furious comeback after being down 16-0, a comeback which was made possible almost solely due to the play of Jacksonville's group of rookie players.
So, how did each of the various rookies on offense, defense and special teams perform? We examine here.
CB CJ Henderson (Round 1, 9th overall)
Snaps played: 79 (98%)
Stats: eight tackles.
One week after CJ Henderson had one of his better performances of his rookie year, he faced the toughest matchup he has yet in Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen. Henderson was predictably overmatched, which is hard to ding him much for considering Allen is an elite receiver who frequently beats cornerbacks. With that said, Henderson was much more of a reason the Jaguars' defense struggled as opposed to being a reason it found some momentum during the game. According to Pro Football Reference, Henderson was targeted in coverage 11 times (tying a career-high) and allowed 8 completions for 103 yards, both career highs. It was the first time in a game this year Henderson has allowed more than 62 yards in coverage, and ultimately the Chargers got nearly 30% of their net passing yards on passes thrown in Henderson's direction.
DE K'Lavon Chaisson (Round 1, 20th overall)
Snaps played: 26 (32%).
Stats: One tackle, one pressure.
K'Lavon Chaisson saw his snaps take a big dip with Josh Allen back in the fold. Allen hadn't played since Week 4 so it wasn't surprising to see Chaisson play less, but his snaps and snap percentage were both the second-lowest they have been all season long. He generated one pressure in 19 pass rushes according to Pro Football Focus, though the company did give Chaisson a 75.7 grade against the run -- by far the best he has graded for them in that department.
WR Laviska Shenault (Round 2, 42nd overall)
Snaps played: 47 (75%).
Stats: three receptions for 42 yards; one rush for 0 yards.
Once again, the Jaguars struggled to get Laviska Shenault involved enough to make a major impact. This has continued to become a trend and at this point it is fair to wonder why the Jaguars aren't utilizing him more considering the team's issues pushing the ball downfield. Shenault led the team in receiving yards and tied with James O'Shaughnessy for the most receptions, though 36 of Shenault's yards came on one catch in the second quarter. It was a big-time play and evidence that the Jaguars need to utilize him more.
NT DaVon Hamilton (Round 3, 73rd overall)
Snaps played: 55 (68%).
Stats: four solo tackles, one tackle for loss, three pressures.
One week after DaVon Hamilton had a lackluster game against the Detroit Lions, he took advantage of a weak Chargers offensive line and dominated like the Jaguars knew he potentially could when they drafted him. He has seen his role grow with Abry Jones on injured reserve, and Week 7 was the first real example of him being able to not only fill Jones' shoes but maybe even surpass his impact. Hamilton was dominant against the run but also pushed the pocket on several occasions, something the Jaguars rarely get from the nose tackle position.
OG Ben Bartch (Round 4, 116th overall)
Snaps played: 30 (48%).
Bartch split reps with veteran lineman Tyler Shatley after he showed some definite rawness in his debut the week prior. Week 7 was more or less the same for Bartch, with him showing some terrific things in the run game but ultimately being overmatched as a pass protector. He allowed two pressures on 20 pass blocking snaps according to PFF, resulting in him receiving one of the company's lowest pass blocking grades out of all guards in Week 7. Bartch clearly has a lot of talent, but it is even clearer that he is maybe too rough around the edges to rely upon too much at this moment in time.
CB Josiah Scott (Round 4, 137th overall)
Snaps played: 2 (1%).
Stats: one tackle.
Josiah Scott got on the field for the first time all season in Los Angeles. While it was only for two snaps and only happened due to CJ Henderson having the air knocked out of him, Scott was still able to record a tackle on a quick pass, showing good ability to wrap up and bring a receiver down by himself in space.
LB Shaquille Quarterman (Round 4, 140th overall)
Snaps played: N/A.
Shaquille Quarterman played only on special teams on Sunday.
SS Daniel Thomas (Round 5, 157th overall)
Snaps played: N/A.
Stats: One blocked punt, one blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
Daniel Thomas played only on special teams on Sunday but he had one of the game's biggest plays. The fifth-round rookie has played almost exclusively special teams outside of Week 5, but he was able to make his presence felt in Los Angeles by blocking a punt and returning it 16 yards for a touchdown at the start of the third quarter. Blocking the punt alone is a big moment for the rookie, but returning his own block for a score made it even more significant.
WR Collin Johnson (Round 5, 165th overall)
Snaps played: 12 (19%).
Stats: one reception for 13 yards.
Collin Johnson has seen his play decrease a bit since his big Week 5 performance. The rookie receiver played 12 snaps against the Chargers, with only 10 of those plays consisting of him running routes. He saw just one target, but he did turn it into a first down. Ultimately he is just too far down the pecking order to make much of an impact, so he will have to maximize his chances when he actually gets them.
QB Jake Luton (Round 6, 189th overall)
Snaps played: N/A.
Jake Luton was inactive on Sunday.
TE Tyler Davis (Round 6, 206th overall)
Tyler Davis was inactive on Sunday.
CB Chris Claybrooks (Round 7, 223rd overall)
Snaps played: 42 (52%).
Chris Claybrooks was thrust back into action on Sunday after Sidney Jones left the game early with an injury. Claybrooks then took his place on the outside when the Jaguars went into three-cornerback sets, allowing zero yards in coverage because Herbert never targeted him. It was an OK game from Claybrooks, but mostly because Herbert attacked Henderson and the linebackers.
RB James Robinson (UDFA)
Snaps played: 57 (90%).
Stats: 22 carries for 119 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and one touchdown; four receptions for 18 yards and one touchdown.
Jacksonville's best player in Week 7 was undrafted running back James Robinson. Robinson finally got fed like a feature back, largely because the Jaguars couldn't move the ball through the air at all outside of three big plays to Shenault, DJ Chark and Chris Conley. But Robinson made the Jaguars look wise for sticking with their game plan of giving him the ball, creating nearly 60 yards after contact as a rusher and receiver and scoring twice in the first half. Jacksonville got away from him a bit in the second half as the game turned into a shootout, but it was Robinson's best game.
CB Luq Barcoo (UDFA)
Snaps played: N/A.
Luq Barcoo was inactive on Sunday.
DT Doug Costin (UDFA)
Snaps played: 35 (43%).
Stats: 3 assisted tackles.
Doug Costin didn't make much of an impact against the Chargers. He held ground at the point of attack but failed to make a solo tackle or record a pressure, resulting in a decent but forgettable day for the rookie.
LS Ross Matiscik (UDFA)
Snaps played: N/A.
Ross Matiscik started his seventh game for the Jaguars as the team's long snapper on Sunday.