Roster outlooks for the 24 Jaguars rookies and first-year players reporting to training camp

The vacation is almost over for Jaguars rookies and first-year players. Two dozen, headlined by first-round pick Leonard Fournette and second-rounder Cam Robinson, return to EverBank Field Wednesday and will spend the next few days going over the playbook and working out.

This time offers a special opportunity for some lower profile players to get the attention of Jaguars coaches and management in their uphill battle to make an NFL roster or practice squad.

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Below are the roster outlooks for all 24 early arrivals at Jaguars training camp:

 Leonard Fournette, RB, 1st Round Pick

Outlook: The expectations are very high for the fourth overall pick in this year's draft. Fournette is expected to transform the Jaguars' running game from an underachieving endeavor to a sturdy attack. The rookie was phenomenal during his three-year career at LSU, but the NFL could reveal some issues in his game.

Training camp and the preseason will go a long way in determining Fournette's immediate workload. Until he can prove to be an every-down player, Fournette will share the backfield with Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon.

Cam Robinson, OT, 2nd Round Pick

Outlook: The Jaguars insist that Robinson is a tackle. With the return of veteran Branden Albert, Robinson's prospects as a starting tackle are up in the air this season. The Jaguars could use him as the swing tackle early on and then ease him into the starting lineup as the year goes on. He could potentially move inside to guard.

Dawuane Smoot, DE, 3rd Round Pick

Outlook: Smoot will be on the roster this season, so training camp will probably determine his playing time. The Jaguars feel like Smoot is best served as a strong-side end, backing up veteran Calais Campbell. The team also wants to see him on the weak side, rotating with young pass rushers Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler. If he can show off his skills on both sides of the ball, Smoot may be poised for a large role.

Dede Westbrook, WR, 4th Round Pick

Outlook: Westbrook was a standout during his two years at Oklahoma. He played as an outside receiver in college, but the Jaguars plan to transition him into the slot eventually. Westbrook missed most of organized team activities with an undisclosed injury, so he has to make up for lost time. Westbrook is probably a lock for the 53-man roster, but he is competing to earn playing time on offense and special teams.

Blair Brown, LB, 5th Round Pick

Outlook: The Jaguars drafted Brown to backup the weak-side linebacker position and play on special teams as a rookie. A tackling juggernaut at Ohio, Brown will be expected to stand out in the game's third phase. While he may not play all that much on defense, he will be counted on to make an impact of some kind this year.

Jalen Myrick, CB, 7th Round Pick

Outlook: Myrick has impressive speed and could be a candidate for the kickoff returner job. While there aren't heavy expectations for him on defense, he may surprise some with added playing time during training camp. With Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Colvin recovering from injuries, Myrick should see plenty of looks with the starters during practices. If he can take advantage of the added reps, Myrick could receive playing time on defense this season.

Marquez Williams, FB, 7th Round Pick

Outlook: The seventh-round pick out of Miami has just one player to compete with during training camp. Veteran Tommy Bohanon has three years of NFL experience, while most of Williams' college playing time came from little-known Mars Hill University. Williams will have to show a prowess on special teams and stand out as a receiver and blocker during training camp and the preseason.

 

 

Tim Cook, RB, Undrafted

Outlook: Cook missed all of the offseason program due to the NFL's graduation rule, which kept him at Oregon State until classes were completed. He is behind the curve from a physical standpoint, but if he studied his playbook thoroughly, he should be able to adapt once the pads come on. The Jaguars kept him despite losing a roster spot throughout the offseason program. That's a clear sign that they like the undrafted running back.

I'Tavius Mathers, RB, Undrafted

Outlook: Coming off a massive season at Middle Tennessee State, Mathers needs to show he offers skills that offset the ability of those ahead of him on the depth chart. He showed the ability to handle a big load in college, but will be used as a change-of-pace back in the pros. He has to show he can adapt to the limited reps in practice and games.

Keelan Cole, WR, Undrafted

Outlook: Cole put up monster numbers at Kentucky Wesleyan. Still, there's reason to question his ability at the NFL level. It's a big step up in competition and he needs to prove those college statistics were more than just "big fish in a small pond" merits. 

Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Undrafted

Outlook: Etta-Tawo signed with the Jaguars, partially because of his relationship with wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell. The undrafted rookie made some plays during the offseason program, but will face his real tests during training camp and the preseason. Of the undrafted players on offense, he may have the best shot at a roster spot.

Kenneth Walker, WR, Undrafted

Outlook: Walker was forced to miss almost all of the offseason program due to the NFL's graduation rule. Following his graduation from UCLA, Walker was able to attend mandatory minicamp. Prior to his arrival at EverBank Field, Marrone praised Walker's work ethic based on his study habits. He will have an uphill battle in making the 53-man roster, but a stellar performance from the slot could help his prospects during training camp.

Caleb Bluiett, TE, Undrafted

Outlook: Bluiett is the lone rookie at his position, which has quite a bit of depth. With Marcedes Lewis, Mychal Rivera, Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling ahead of them, Bluiett and Alex Ellis will need to compete for a practice squad spot. Injuries could potentially open things up for a dark horse scenario on the main roster.

Avery Gennesy, G, Undrafted

Outlook: The former Texas A&M offensive tackle is converting to guard at the NFL level. The transition may take time and with the wealth of veterans in front of him, it could take even longer to settle in with practice reps. The practice squad makes a lot of sense for Gennesy as he continues to develop.

Hunter Dimick, DE, Undrafted

Outlook: Dimick was extremely productive during his final two years at Utah, but he still went undrafted in May. After spending two months with the Jaguars, he is looking to cement himself among the top five defensive ends on the roster. Can he beat out veteran Lerentee McCray, who is considered a special teams standout? If not, can he force the Jaguars to keep six defensive ends and only four or five defensive tackles?

Tueni Lupeamanu, DT, Undrafted

Outlook: The extremely undersized (6-0, 282 lbs.) defensive tackle from Idaho is probably on the outside looking in for a roster spot. However, the practice squad could be a good landing spot for a tweener prospect like Lupeamanu. Size isn't everything and the undrafted rookie will have to prove that adage correct to stick around.

Kevin Maurice, DT, Undrafted

Outlook: Added after rookie minicamp, Maurice could be a practice squad candidate. He enters training camp at a position of great depth and how he performs early on will likely determine his long-term fate. He has to prove he is more than a camp body.

Carroll Phillips, DE, Undrafted

Outlook: A "name" undrafted player, Phillips has some hype surrounding his rookie offseason. The undrafted defensive end from Illinois likes to be known as "Wildman" and he will have to live up to that nickname to make the Jaguars' roster. The defense needs to get to the opposing quarterback regularly, so if Phillips can stand out in joint practices and the preseason, he could have a shot at making the active roster. 

P.J. Davis, LB, Undrafted

Outlook: At 5-foot-9 and 232 pounds, Davis is a short but stout linebacker. He was able to stick during the offseason program and could be a surprise overachiever during training camp and the preseason. He was a tackling machine at Georgia Tech and has a history of getting to the quarterback (6.5 sacks in 2015). Special teams will be his gateway to a roster spot or the practice squad.

Justin Horton, LB, Undrafted

Outlook: The Jacksonville University alum is a bit of an unknown. He played defensive end for the Pioneer Football League program and is converting to an NFL outside linebacker. His ability to adapt will determine his roster prospects, which are probably skewed more towards the practice squad.

Jarrod Harper, S, Undrafted

Outlook: Harper was signed after trying out for the team during rookie minicamp. While he was not part of the initial wave of undrafted free agent signings, he has been with the team throughout the offseason program. A big-bodied defensive back (6-0, 210 lbs.), Harper has appeal at the strong safety position. He will have to out-perform teammates James Sample and Jarrod Wilson to stick.

Ezra Robinson, CB, Undrafted

Outlook: The lone undrafted cornerback remaining on the roster was able to outlive his counterpart Jeremy Cutrer following the offseason program. Robinson has an average build at the position and his 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine didn't separate him from his prospect peers during the draft. He is a guy that could be a long-term project on the practice squad, but he will have to earn the spot with veteran competition like Taurean Nixon, Brian Dixon and Doran Grant on the roster.

Nila Kasitati, G, First-year 

Outlook: A mid-season practice squad addition last year, Kasitati has yet to play in an NFL regular season game. Still, he is familiar with Marrone, who was his position coach for a short period last season. The interior offensive line is stacked, but he could make an impression on the 10-man practice squad.

Jamal Robinson, WR, First-year

Outlook: Robinson was in a similar situation last year as an undrafted free agent. The position is packed and he is probably striving to make the practice roster. Being on the 10-man practice squad as a wide receiver has been fortuitous for players over the last few years. Tony Washington, Shane Wynn, Rashad Lawrence and Neal Sterling are among those who have been called up to the main roster due to injuries over the last two seasons. 

The Jaguars' quarterbacks will return to EverBank Field on Friday. The remaining veterans will join the first two groups on July 26. The first practice of training camp will be open to the public on July 27.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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