Taking a look at the Jaguars rookies at the midseason mark

The Jaguars have nine rookies on their roster as of Week 10. The majority of the group has played and contributed through the first eight games of the season.

Let's take a look at each member of the group, their production and their outlook moving forward:

Leonard Fournette, RB, First-Round Pick

Stats: 130 carries for 596 rushing yards (4.6 YPC) and six rushing touchdowns, 15 catches for 136 receiving yards and a touchdown (6 games/6 starts)

Role: Starting running back

Outlook Moving Forward: While he has missed the last two wins, Fournette has been the torch-bearer on offense for the Jaguars when active. A phenomenal start to the season was curbed by an ankle injury and then a benching due to the violation of team rules.

Fournette has answered all questions regarding his ability to catch the ball. He has created yards on his own on the ground. He will likely be among the three or four players considered for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

It will be interesting to see how he responds to his benching Week 9.

Cam Robinson, OT, Second-Round Pick

Stats: 474 snaps (85.7%), (8 games, 8 starts)

Role: Starting Left Tackle

Outlook Moving Forward: Robinson has been phenomenal in his first eight NFL games. While he missed all but two snaps in the Week 7 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Robinson's rookie year has been nothing short of impressive. As the lone new piece on the starting offensive line, Robinson's presence has helped the entire unit excel this season. He is likely to be the Jaguars' blindside blocker for the next several years.

DOWNLOAD: The free First Coast Football App for stats, scores, analysis, stories and more

Dawuane Smoot, DE, Third-Round Pick

Stats: 8 tackles, 125 defensive snaps (8 games)

Role: Rotational backup defensive end

Outlook Moving Forward: The Jaguars have a packed defensive line rotation and Smoot is fighting for snaps at this point. The coaching staff has praised his brief moments on defense and the front office believes in his upside. As the season moves along, the Jaguars may look to get Smoot more involved in order to have options during the later part of the year.

The Jaguars have stayed relatively healthy on the defensive line but injuries do happen. Smoot may need someone to go down before he can shine with added playing time.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Fourth-Round Pick

Stats: N/A

Role: Currently on injured reserve but eligible to return

Outlook Moving Forward: Westbrook is likely to provide a shot in the arm to the Jaguars' offense at some point this season. However, the Jaguars passed on activating him in Week 9. He has two weeks to be called up to the main roster from injured reserve, giving him 7 or 8 games to make his mark.

The Jaguars seem content with the three-man wide receiver group of Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Keelan Cole. Westbrook may start off as the fourth option and then eventually cut into the trio's playing time. At 6-foot, 178 pounds, Westbrook may need time to get adjusted to being pressed at the line of scrimmage by talented NFL cornerbacks.

Blair Brown, LB, Fifth-Round Pick

Stats: Three tackles, 105 snaps on special teams (6 games)

Role: Special teams core-four player, backup linebacker

Outlook Moving Forward: Brown was a healthy scratch for the first two games but has since found a role on special teams. He is a key part of the Jaguars' third phase unit and has played a little bit on defense. With quite a bit of talent in front of him, Brown will continue to serve on special teams and provide depth at linebacker.

Jalen Myrick, CB, Seventh-Round Pick

Stats: Allowed zero completions in 13 defensive snaps (2 games)

Role: Depth cornerback

Outlook Moving Forward: Myrick has only been active for two games. However, he has already received praise from Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone:

"I thought Myrick came into the game, I think that they would try to go after him at times if you go back and look at the film," Marrone said after the Week 9 win. "I thought he really hung in there well. Obviously, he didn’t get anything completed on him, so there’s another young kid stepping up."

Myrick received some playing time when Jalen Ramsey was ejected before halftime against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9. His performance in that game is likely to lead to more work moving forward. He is a long-term developmental player with high upside due to his tremendous speed.

Keelan Cole, WR, Undrafted Free Agent

Stats: 11 catches for 158 receiving yards (6 games, 2 starts)

Role: Third wide receiver

Outlook Moving Forward: An offseason superstar, Cole has turned into a solid No. 3 receiver for the Jaguars. He has made a few highlight catches, including his one-handed grab for a 28-yard gain against the Bengals in Week 9.

Cole's snaps and targets have increased as the season has moved along and there is a reason to believe he is cutting into Hurns' playing time. Westbrook's impending return to the active roster will impact both Cole and Hurns.

The team will show how much it values Cole in the coming weeks when it has Westbrook back in the lineup.

Donald Payne, LB, Undrafted Free Agent

Stats: 4 tackles, 90 snaps on special teams (6 games)

Role: Special teams core player, backup linebacker

Outlook Moving Forward: A rookie waiver claim prior to Week 1, Payne played immediately on special teams for the Jaguars. He has been a healthy scratch in two games but has played a prominent role on special teams when active. He is likely to stay in that role moving forward. 

Eli Ankou, DT, Undrafted Free Agent

Stats: 13 tackles and a half-sack (8 games)

Role: Rotational nose tackle

Outlook Moving Forward: Ankou was claimed off waivers before Week 1 much like Payne. Also like Payne, Ankou played immediately. The Canadian rookie has been a pleasant surprise, backing up the nose tackle position and playing heavy snaps. He is likely to see a bit of a decrease in action with Marcell Dareus in the fold but that shouldn't hurt his development.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

Listen to "Teal & Black Blitz with Mike Kaye and Mike DiRocco (Podcast) 11-6" on Spreaker.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment