As we countdown the days until training camp, First Coast News is taking a look at each position group on the Jaguars' roster. Our positional series continues with a focus on the fullback position.
Projected Depth Chart
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 247 lbs.
Experience: 4th Season
Career Numbers: 67 rushing yards (3.4 yards per carry) and 155 receiving yards in 36 games (14 starts)
Acquisition: Signed as a veteran free agent this offseason
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 280 lbs.
Career Numbers: N/A (One carry for one yard and two receptions for 19 yards as a senior at Miami)
Acquisition: Selected with a seventh-round pick in this year's NFL Draft
Storylines for 2017 training camp
- How will the fullback position impact the running game?
- Will the fullback position force an extra tight end off the field?
Competition entering training camp
Bohanon vs. Williams
This is the most cut and dry competition in training camp. Not only is it one of the few starting competitions on the Jaguars' roster, but it's also the most limited.
It's the late-round rookie against the veteran who was out of the league last season.
Bohanon has experience on his side. In that aspect the battle is overwhelmingly one-sided.
He was a starting fullback at Wake Forest and played at the ACC level for his entire college career. He also served as Chris Ivory's lead blocker with the New York Jets for three seasons.
Bohanon played 371 snaps (35 percent of total offensive snaps) as a rookie in 2013 and 268 snaps (24 percent) in 2015. He was an integral part of the Jets' offense during his tenure, which means he knows how to play fullback at a high level.
Williams is an interesting addition, as he lost more than 20 pounds leading up to the draft. Built like a bulldozer, Williams had an impressive pro day but was rarely used during his lone season with the Hurricanes. He was a transfer from Mars Hill, a Division II program in North Carolina.
Williams will not only need to learn the position at the NFL level, but out-duel a veteran who has done it before. Also working against Williams' shot for an active roster spot is that he has practice squad eligibility. If the Jaguars think he can get through waivers, they may decide to put him on the practice squad and let Bohanon be the short-term answer.
If Williams can prove to be a better blocker than Bohanon, he will likely be kept. His work on special teams will also be vital for his 53-man roster aspirations.
The position will house just one player on the depth chart. Bohanon has the experience, while Williams has the upside. The Jaguars' top two running backs averaged 3.7 yards per carry last season. That figure needs to go up and the fullback position can help there.
Williams, if he wins the job, may need time to adjust, while Bohanon may be limited in upside as a weapon. Training camp and the preseason will play a massive role in figuring out if the position can make a real difference.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on the fullback position:
“Well, I think the fullback in general, that position is always something that can make you very dynamic because you can do a lot of different things. Whenever you put a fullback in front of a runner, it gives you a lot of different blocking schemes, lot of different kinds of runs that a lot of people don’t do anymore and it also allows you to get a lot of different protections, play-actions and a lot of different things. It makes you very multiple, you can still go empty, you can still spread it out, bring it back in and pound the rocks. I think it gives you a lot of different things, but that guy has to be able to catch, has to be able to move, has to be able to do a lot of different things. That’s a very unique position. Any one of that extra, that fifth guy that comes on to the field, whether it’s wide receiver, tight end or a fullback, anytime you can have multiple of those guys, it’s going to make you better.”
Monday's focus will be on the Jaguars' wide receiver position.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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