On Monday, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced they gad agreed to terms with 18 undrafted free agents, giving the team their latest crop of 'eighth-round' talent.
Over the last several years, the Jaguars have been an ideal landing spot for undrafted rookies thanks to the number of undrafted players who have carved out a role on the roster. From Corey Grant, to Allen Hurns, to Jarrod Wilson, to Tre Herndon, to Andrew Wingard, the Jaguars have seen a number of undrafted free agents develop into contributors and even starters in some cases.
Could any of this year's 18 free agents find a similar role on the Jaguars' roster? There are a few players who have legitimate chances, whether it be due to their own talent or due to holes on the roster. In an effort to uncover who those players are, here is our player-by-player breakdown of the team's 18 newest rookies.
San Diego State CB Luq Barcoo
There weren't many cornerbacks who were more productive in 2019 than Luq Barcoo. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Barcoo was tied for the most interceptions in the country with nine and he also recorded a staggering 16 pass deflections. Thanks to this massive production, Barcoo was named a third-team Associated Press All-American. Barcoo is a former receiver but likely fell in the draft due to his relative lack of production aside from 2019 and his lack of size and strength. With the Jaguars having question marks at cornerback behind C.J. Henderson, Tre Herndon, D.J. Hayden, and Josiah Scott, there is a real chance Barcoo could compete for the No. 5 cornerback job and make the roster. The Jaguars also signed him to a record-breaking undrafted free agent contract, which makes it obvious they coveted him.
Miami (Ohio) DT Doug Costin
A player who will likely get snaps at three-technique during his time with the Jaguars, Doug Costin has a long road to making the Jaguars' roster due to their sheer depth along the defensive line. Costin was disruptive in 2019, recording 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, and one fumble recovery. He fits the Jaguars' mold at the position at 6-foot-2, 291-pounds.
Georgia Tech RB Nathan Cottrell
Listed as a running back by the Jaguars, Nathan Cottrell didn't touch the ball much for Georgia Tech in 2019. He recorded only two carries for one yard last season, so don't expect him to make a huge impact.
UCF LB Nate Evans
Jacksonville is deep at linebacker so it will be hard for Nate Evans to carve out a role on the active roster, but his feisty play-style, leadership, and special teams value could help him land on the practice squad. The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Evans recorded 112 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, one sack, three pass deflections, and a fumble recovery in 2019 and projects best to inside linebacker.
North Dakota State TE Ben Ellefson
A solid sized tight end at 6-foot-3, 250-pounds, Ben Ellefson will provide depth at tight end for the Jaguars during training camp behind Josh Oliver, Tyler Eifert, Charles Jones, Tyler Davis, and James O'Shaughnessy whenever he is healthy. His 16 career touchdown receptions were the most by a tight end in NDSU history and ninth on the school's all-time career list, which is impressive considering NDSU's recent winning history. He is a long-shot but could beat out Jones.
South Carolina RB Tavien Feaster
When the Jaguars opted not to draft a running back with any of their 12 picks, they opened the door for an undrafted running back to push for a spot on the roster. Feaster is a former Clemson transfer with quick feet, recording 672 yards (5.4 average) and five touchdowns in 2019. He will get a chance, but he will likely need to demonstrate more pass-catching ability than he showed in college (17 receptions for just 87 yards last season).
Florida WR Josh Hammond
Another high-character player, Josh Hammond joins the Jaguars after ending his Florida career with 87 catches for 1,138 receiving yards (13.1 avg.) and six touchdowns in four seasons. Hammond will have to have a lot of breaks fall his way to have any chance to make the roster considering the team's top-six wide receiver spots are likely already locked up by four returning veterans and two draft picks. He could be a candidate for the practice squad, but will likely have to fight C.J. Board and Terry Godwin for a place on it.
Wake Forest CB Amari Henderson
Amari Henderson is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback who led Wake Forest in interceptions in 2019 with four and is third in school history in pass breakups with 41. The Jaguars have a ton of bodies at cornerback so it will be tough sledding for Henderson, especially considering the addition of other free agent cornerbacks.
Baylor LS Ross Matiscik
The Jaguars are high on long snapper Matt Orzech, so expect for Ross Matiscik to just be a camp body who can take some reps off of him. Matiscik is interesting because he also played some middle linebacker for Baylor, but he is a long-shot to make the roster in nearly every sense.
Eastern Michigan OL Steven Nielson
A massive prospect at 6-foot-8, 305-pounds, Steven Neilson hails from Denmark and is one of the more interesting stories among the undrafted free agent class. He started 13 games for Eastern Michigan last season and may have an outside chance at making the roster if he impresses due to the Jaguars' lack of offensive line depth and an increase in minimum roster requirements.
Ohio OL Austen Pleasants
Another massive lineman, the 6-foot-7, 326-pound Austen Pleasants was named All-MAC Second Team after a solid senior season at left tackle in 2019. Like Nielson, he could have an outside chance to make the roster due to the lack of tackles on Jacksonville's roster, but it will be an uphill climb.
Georgia S J.R. Reed
The son of former NFL wide receiver Jake Reed, most expected for J.R. Reed to be drafted in the middle rounds after a stellar 2019 season. A captain for the Bulldogs last season, Reed was named first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC in 2019, and was also a Jim Thorpe Award finalist after recording 54 tackles, two for loss, one interception, and seven pass breakups. With Cody Davis no longer on the roster, Reed would compete for the No. 4 safety role and contribute on special teams.
Illinois State RB James Robinson
Thanks to the Jaguars' lack of depth at the position, James Robinson has the potential to make some noise with the Jaguars. The 5-foot-9, 219-pound running back recorded 1,917 rushing yards and 18 rushing scores for Illinois State in 2019, and a 40-inch vertical at the NFL Scouting Combine displayed the fact that he has plenty of explosiveness to go with his production.
Notre Dame WR Marvelle Ross
With the Jaguars so deep at wide receiver, it is likely Marvelle Ross competes for a job as a kick or punt returner. This will be hard for him to carve out a role considering the presence of Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and seventh-round selection Chris Claybrooks, but it is his clearest path to the roster.
Army FB Connor Slomka
The Jaguars didn't roster a fullback in 2019 after restoring one in each of the previous two years. It is easy to see Gruden opting to use a tight end as a fullback instead of having one on the active roster, so it may be hard for Connor Slomka to find a place.
Missouri OL Tre'Vour Wallace-Sims
Known at Missouri for his physical playstyle, Tre'Vour Wallace-Sims is an imposing force at 6-foot-5, 330-pounds. He was First-Team All-SEC in 2018, the first Missouri offensive lineman to earn such a distinction since 2013. He will have a long climb to make the roster considering the number of guards on the Jaguars' roster.
Arizona State CB Kobe Williams
Another cornerback, the 5-foot-10, 174-pound Kobe Williams will have to fight a number of other cornerbacks to find a spot on the Jaguars' roster. Williams recorded 56 tackles and 10 pass deflections in 2019, a year in which he was also selected as a team captain as a senior.
Georgia State K Brandon Wright
Brandon Wright was a 59.3% kicker in college (32/54 on field goals), and Josh Lambo is more than entrenched at kicker. Wright will be just a camp leg.