Bye Week Business: Taking stock of Jaguars rookies, first-year players

Following four weeks of up-and-down play, the Jaguars are resting on an early bye week.

While the first quarter of the season is a small sample size, several young players have stepped up to start the campaign.

The 1-3 record isn't showing early returns on paper, but the production and development of rookies and first-year players has been worth noting. 

JAGUARS ROOKIES

Jalen Ramsey

Cornerbacks are typically known for coverage, but Ramsey has really excelled against the run. While his coverage has been mostly positive, his ability to stop the run has really added value to the defensive backfield. Ramsey did very well against the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Steve Smith and Randall Cobb in the first quarter of the season. While he hasn't created his own turnovers, he did breakup a Joe Flacco pass that was intercepted by safety Tashaun Gipson in Week 3. 

Myles Jack

After spending most of his time on special teams in the first three weeks, Jack started at Otto linebacker on Sunday. He did an admirable job after being told that he'd play a position he had never learned. He is still finding his place in the defense, but learning all three linebacker positions clearly makes him more valuable.

Yannick Ngakoue

The third round pick has solidified himself as an early Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. He has three-straight games with a sack and he has forced three fumbles. To add to that, he has done a solid job against the run and intercepted a batted ball on Sunday. The interception helped the team start strong in the first win of the season.

Sheldon Day

The rookie defensive tackle has worked his way into the defensive line rotation. After being put in an awkward position in San Diego as a nose tackle, Day has mostly stuck to three-technique. He was involved on a sack featuring Josh Johnson and Paul Posluzny in London.

Brandon Allen

The sixth round pick has been a healthy scratch for all four games, as he is the team's third-string quarterback.

Jonathan Woodard

Woodard remains on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a torn Achilles early in the offseason.

Jarrod Wilson

Wilson was the only undrafted rookie to make the Jaguars initial 53-man roster. He has mostly played on special teams.

FIRST-YEAR PLAYERS

Dante Fowler

The Jaguars third overall pick in last year's draft has offered a mixed bag in his first season. After recovering from ACL surgery, Fowler has produced pressure and penalties. He posted two sacks in the loss to the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 and batted a ball that led to an interception in the win against the Indianapolis Colts. His main issue has been discipline. Fowler has had five penalties called on him in four games. The "12 men on the field" penalty likely wasn't his fault, but two offsides and two personal fouls definitely were on the former Gator.

Josh Johnson

The former Canadian Football League standout has become a valued asset for the Jaguars in a short period of time. After Prince Amukamara suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1, Johnson was given the opportunity to play at cornerback and on special teams. He has done well on the special teams coverage unit and broke up a pass to clinch the Jaguars first win of the season in London.

Chris Reed

After spending a year on the practice squad, Reed has found a role with the Jaguars. While he has only played in one game, he did start against the Baltimore Ravens. His performance was a bit uneven, but he has clearly earned the trust of the coaching staff. He is one of only eight offensive linemen on the active roster.

FORMER JAGUARS ROOKIES ON NEW TEAMS

Tyrone Holmes (Cleveland Browns)

Despite being a sixth round pick in May, the Jaguars waived Holmes during final cuts. He was given a second chance by the Cleveland Browns and has produced pressure for the team through three games. He has one tackle to his credit, but did force pressure for a pick six for another former Jaguars rookie in Week 3.

Briean Boddy Calhoun (Cleveland Browns)

The Jaguars released the undrafted free agent during final cuts and he was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns. After being a healthy scratch for the first two weeks of the season, Boddy Calhoun became a starter. He has started the first two games of his NFL career and produced five tackles and an interception for a touchdown during those contests.

Braedon Bowman (New York Jets)

The former undrafted free agent addition of the Jaguars was picked up by the New York Jets following final cuts in September. He spent some time on New York's practice squad but has played in the last two games for the Jets. He was targeted on offense for the first time in Week 4's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


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