The Jaguars wrap up the preseason against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. The team will then have until Saturday at 4 p.m. to trim the roster from 90 to 53 players.
Below you'll find my 53-man roster prediction heading into the preseason finale:
Quarterback (3, 3)
Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Brandon Allen (3, 3)
Rationale: The Jaguars will start Bortles in Week 1 against the Houston Texans. Henne was unable to supplant Bortles during the preseason, but he may get another shot at the starting job after a few games. Allen will probably take on the backup reigns at some point this season and carry that torch for the foreseeable future.
Running Back (4, 7)
Leonard Fournette, Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant (KR) (4, 7)
Rationale: Fournette will likely split touches with Ivory and Yeldon early on, especially after suffering a foot injury that has cost him at least two preseason games. Yeldon is expected to be the third-down back, while Ivory will handle short-yardage duties. Likely to be named the starting kickoff returner, Grant will also be used in specific packages on offense.
Cuts: Jonathan Grimes, Tim Cook, DuJuan Harris, Marquez Williams (FB), Tommy Bohanon (FB)
Tight End (4, 11)
Marcedes Lewis, Ben Koyack, Mychal Rivera, Alex Ellis (FB) (4, 11)
Rationale: Lewis and Koyack have both produced strong training camps. Both are strong blockers and have the ability to catch the ball. Ellis has impressed as a Swiss Army knife on offense, playing tight end and fullback. His emergence may force Tommy Bohanon and Marquez Williams off the roster. Rivera has been injured throughout training camp and the preseason, but the team clearly has faith in him.
Cuts: Caleb Bluiett, David Grinnage, Neal Sterling
Wide Receiver (6, 17)
Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, Arrelious Benn, Keelan Cole (PR) (6, 17)
Rationale: Robinson, Lee and Hurns are all locks for the roster unless the Jaguars are blown away by a trade offer. Westbrook, a fourth-round pick, has shown big play upside, while Cole has been a sensation in training camp and the preseason. Benn is the special teams ace who can offer some help on offense.
Cuts: Rashad Greene, Amba Etta-Tawo, Larry Pinkard, Shane Wynn, Jamal Robinson
Offensive Line (8, 25)
Cam Robinson, Patrick Omameh, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, Josh Wells, Tyler Shatley, Luke Bowanko
Rationale: Robinson, Linder, Cann and Parnell are locked in as starters, while the left guard spot remains a mystery. The spot will go to Omameh, Bowanko or Shatley and the two that don't get the job will still be on the roster. Wells seems like a lock for the swing tackle job after finally going through a healthy training camp and preseason. The eight linemen may seem like a small number, but only seven will dress on game days. I also expect the team to scout the waiver wire for a guard.
Cuts: Malcolm Bunche, Nila Kasitati, Jeremiah Poutasi, Chris Reed, Demetrius Rhaney, Earl Watford, Avery Gennesy
Defensive Line (10, 35)
Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Abry Jones, Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler, Sheldon Day, Dawuane Smoot, Stefan Charles, Malliciah Goodman, Lerentee McCray
Rationale: Ngakoue, Jackson, Jones and Campbell have been the official starting lineup group since March. Fowler should be the first defensive end off the bench, while Stefan Charles will likely be the first defensive tackle to rotate into the lineup. McCray and Goodman are a pair of journeymen who have impressed during training camp and the preseason. McCray will see some time at linebacker as well. Day is a former draft pick looking to work his way into the rotation. Smoot was selected in the third round, so he is safe.
Cuts: Michael Bennett, Hunter Dimick, Carroll Phillips, Tueni Lupeamanu, Kevin Maurice, Jonathan Woodard
Linebacker (6, 41)
Telvin Smith, Paul Posluszny, Myles Jack, Hayes Pullard, Josh McNary, Blair Brown
Rationale: With Posluszny back in the middle and Jack on the strong side, the Jaguars' starting linebacker group will remain the same as last season. Smith remains to be the steadfast presence at WILL linebacker. Pullard and McNary are veterans who can play on special teams. Brown, a fifth-round pick, will backup the SAM linebacker position this season.
Cuts: Andrew Gachkar, P.J. Davis, Akeem Dent
Cornerback (5, 46)
Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Aaron Colvin, Tyler Patmon, Brian Dixon
Rationale: The top trio needs to be ready for Week 1. Ramsey, Bouye and Colvin have yet to play together in a game. Patmon and Dixon have done admirable jobs while filling in for Ramsey, Colvin and Bouye, which will keep them on the roster for now. It wouldn't be shocking to see the team claim a player on waivers at the cornerback position.
Cuts: Doran Grant, Tracy Howard, Charles James, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Jalen Myrick, Dwayne Thomas
Safety (4, 50)
Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church, Peyton Thompson, Jarrod Wilson
Rationale: This is probably the easiest group on defense to figure out. Church has been a welcomed upgrade at strong safety, while Gipson looks more comfortable in his second year in the scheme. Thompson is a special teams ace and a jack of all trades at free safety. Wilson has a future in the league as a short-yardage defender.
Cuts: Jeron Johnson, Jarrod Harper
Special Teams (3, 53)
Jason Myers (K), Brad Nortman (P), Matt Overton (LS)
Rationale: Well, there's no competition.
Practice Squad (10)
OT Jeremiah Poutasi, LB P.J. Davis, WR Jamal Robinson, RB Tim Cook, TE Caleb Bluiett, DE Carroll Phillips, OT Avery Gennesy, FB Marquez Williams, S Jarrod Harper, DE Jonathan Woodard
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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