Jaguars Preseason Stock Watch: Grant shines against Patriots, Myers' misses could raise concerns

Jaguars vs. Patriots Recap: Beat writer Mike Kaye breaks down the preseason opener

The Jaguars offered up some preseason promise, as the team's depth units produced several big plays Thursday against the New England Patriots.

The 31-24 win offered a lot of positive notes, but there were also a few head-scratching moments. 

The preseason is very important to the back-half of the roster, as roughly 60 players compete for 10-12 open spots. With that in mind, each game can help or hurt the stock of roster hopefuls.

Below is a list of three players who helped their stock with stellar performances and three players who will need to rebound next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

STOCK ON THE RISE

1. Corey Grant

Key Moment: With 11:15 left in the third quarter, Grant ran 79 yards for a touchdown.

Outlook: Some have offered concern regarding Grant's roster prospects as the fourth running back. With three big runs - including the 79-yard score - Grant did everything possible to keep himself in Jacksonville. 

Grant finished with 120 rushing yards on just eight carries. His play stood out throughout the second half and will probably put Grant in position for more carries moving forward.

Grant's emergence could make Chris Ivory or T.J. Yeldon expendable.

 

2. Keelan Cole

Key Moment: With 9:15 left in the second quarter, Cole caught a pass from quarterback Chad Henne for a 97-yard touchdown.

Outlook: Cole led the Jaguars with two catches for 108 receiving yards against New England. The 97-yard touchdown reception was extremely impressive. He also caught a pass from third-string quarterback Brandon Allen for a gain of 11 yards. He also made a big stop on a kickoff return in the first quarter.

Cole is competing to earn a potential sixth wide receiver spot with Rashad Greene and Shane Wynn. Against the Patriots defense, he looked like an NFL wide receiver. He needs to continue the momentum over the next four weeks.

 

3. Patrick Omameh

Key Moment: Omameh opened up a hole down the middle for rookie running back Leonard Fournette to burst through for a gain of eight yards on fourth-and-inches.

Outlook: Omameh started at left guard and proceeded to expand on his impressive work in training camp. He had two really impressive plays where he opened up big holes for his running backs to exploit. The fourth-and-inches blocking helped the Jaguars keep a drive alive. He also forced a large opening on the first play from scrimmage, which allowed Chris Ivory to run for 15 yards. 

Omameh likely added some serious clarity to the starting offensive line with his strong performance.

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STOCK ON THE DECLINE

1. Jason Myers

Biggest Mishap: Myers missed on back-to-back field goal attempts beyond 50 yards.

Outlook: Myers attempted three field goals on Thursday and missed two of them. He made a 27-yard attempt in the first quarter but failed to connect on field goals of 50 and 53 yards. 

Those aren't easy kicks, but Myers is known for his accuracy on distance kicks. Myers hasn't been challenged this offseason, but those misses may raise some concerns for the coaching staff and front office.

On the bright side, Myers made all four of his extra point attempts.

 

2. Ezra Robinson

Biggest Mishap: In the middle of the fourth quarter, Robinson committed a blatant pass interference penalty that allowed the Patriots to move up 43 yards.

Outlook: As a deep reserve at cornerback, every mistake Robinson makes is magnified. Midway through the fourth quarter, Robinson grabbed Patriots wide receiver Devin Lucian, who was streaking down the field. The play forced the Patriots upfield to the Jaguars' 14-yard line. Robinson was lucky the Patriots' third-string offense was forced off the field following a failed fourth down attempt.

Following the penalty, Robinson was called off the field by Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone.

 

3. Tracy Howard

Biggest Mishap: Howard was flagged for a personal foul on the final play of the third quarter, adding 15 yards to the Patriots' final scoring drive.

Outlook: Howard is looking to win a backup safety job on the Jaguars' roster. He had a mixed night against the Patriots, as he forced a fumble in the red zone, but also allowed a touchdown and was flagged for an unnecessary personal foul. 

While the touchdown catch by Patriots wide receiver Austin Carr was an impressive play, Howard got late to him in the end zone. The play was on third-and-three with just 20 seconds left in the first half. Cornerback Brian Dixon passed off Carr in coverage to Howard, who allowed the receiver to get behind and past him.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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