For now, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the other 31 NFL clubs are restricted to a virtual world and have yet to take any fields together for offseason team activities. Competitions for starting roles have yet to be had but rest assured, they will still eventually be battled.
But with the season still scheduled as of today to begin on time, it can still be a worthwhile exercise to project how certain position groups may shape up come the regular season. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are set to trot out one of the league's youngest rosters in 2020, there are a number of positions that still needed to be sorted out from top to bottom, whether it be at the starting role or along the depth.
As this offseason progresses, we will take a look at each position and give our best guess as to what the depth chart will look like come September, or whenever the season does start.
First, we will start with the most important position: quarterback.
The Jaguars are set to have their third different opening day starter in three years following the trade of Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears for a 2020 fourth-round pick. Foles signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars during the 2019 offseason but Foles ended up playing in only four games for the team, finishing only two of his starts.
Now, the Jaguars are set to have one of the youngest quarterback rooms in the league, but they have just enough of a mix of ascending and veteran talent for the team to feel comfortable heading into 2020.
QB No. 1: Gardner Minshew II
Following the trade of Foles, it became clear Gardner Minshew would be the Jaguars' starting quarterback in 2020 as long as Jacksonville didn't draft a quarterback in the first round. And considering the impressive rookie season Minshew had last year, it is fair to reason that he earned the starting gig.
Minshew, a 2019 sixth-round pick, enjoyed a rookie season in which he started 12 games and led all rookie passers in wins with a 6-6 record. He completed 60.6% of his passes for 3.271 yards along with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, offering the Jaguars an on-field upgrade over Foles throughout much of last season following Foles' Week 1 injury and short-lived Week 11 resurgence.
The Jaguars opted not to select a quarterback until the sixth round during last month's NFL Draft, solidifying Minshew's position atop the depth chart. The Jaguars could have signed a free agent veteran quarterback such as Jameis Winston or Cam Newton, but they instead added an unthreatening backup who we will get to later.
Minshew is entering 2020 as one of the league's most inexperienced quarterbacks, but he proved in 2020 has more than enough positive traits as a traditional passer and a playmaker to take a gamble on, at least for a year. The Jaguars' success will hinge on his right arm, however, so it remains to be seen how he will rise to the occasion.
QB No. 2: Mike Glennon
While there is realistically zero chance that Minshew's starting position is challenged by Glennon, the eighth-year quarterback will at least be able to provide value to Jaguars thanks to his experience. He has started more games and been in the NFL longer than any other quarterback currently on the roster, which was the driving force behind the Jaguars signing him.
"For me, there is a comfort level that comes into having a veteran presence in that room with the young guys that we have, you know, with Gardner, and Dobbs, and with Jake now," head coach Doug Marrone told local media after the team signed Glennon. "I feel real comfortable about where Jay [Gruden] is as the coordinator and a former quarterback, and Ben [McAdoo], as far as their knowledge and things of that nature. But I always think there is a part of learning that occurs outside of your coaches, you know, with the people who are around you."
Glennon played in 19 games (18 starts) in his first two seasons with Tampa Bay and threw for 4,025 yards and 29 TDs, including 2,608 yards and 19 TDs as a rookie in 2013. He was the first rookie in NFL history to throw for at least one TD in each of his first eight career starts and was just the fourth rookie in NFL history to post two games with a passer rating of 137.0 or higher. Overall, he has made 22 career starts, going 6-16 and throwing for 5,163 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.
If the Jaguars are forced to play Glennon at any point in 2020, chances are the season will have already been lost. But as a backup to Minshew, Glennon can offer reasonable value and help an offense in transition.
QB No. 3: Josh Dobbs
Last season, the Jaguars were scrambling for depth at the quarterback position following Foles' Week 1 injury. Their answer at the time was to trade a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Josh Dobbs, who was a third-year veteran and former 2017 fourth-round pick.
Minshew never missed a snap due to injury in the games he started in, so Dobbs was never forced to the field and the Jaguars never had to know the answer to what the offense would have looked like with Dobbs at the helm. Once Foles did return from injury, Dobbs remained on the active roster but was typically a healthy scratch as the No. 3 quarterback.
The battle for the backup position between Dobbs and Glennon is an interesting one to monitor because it is hard to determine who would have the leg up. Dobbs has more familiarity with the locker room and Jacksonville's receivers, but Glennon has far more experience.
Practice Squad: Jake Luton
Drafted out of Oregon State with the No. 189 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Jake Luton was the Jaguars' third-consecutive sixth-round quarterback, following Minshew and Tanner Lee from 2018.
Luton, who was the Jaguars' 10th selection and sixth of the draft's third day, spent six years in college. He bounced around as a collegiate quarterback, playing for Idaho, Ventura Community College, and Oregon State.
In 2019, Luton (6-foot-6, 224-pounds) completed 62% of his passes in 2019. He threw for 2,714 yards and 28 touchdowns with only three interceptions. The Jaguars could opt to keep him on the active roster over one of Dobbs or Glennon, but it makes more sense to attempt to stash him on the practice squad for a year.