JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Versatility, or a lack thereof, can make or break an NFL hopeful's chances of earning a precious roster spot.
The "more you can do" adage is a staple of NFL training camps. Jaguars undrafted rookie Caleb Bluiett is embracing that notion, as playing multiple positions has been his calling card since college.
While at the University of Texas, Bluiett played four positions: defensive end, linebacker, long snapper and tight end. He eventually settled in at tight end before making the jump to the NFL.
Just two weeks into training camp, the 23-year-old has already had to deliver on his positional versatility.
Two days after suffering a minor knee injury of his own, Bluiett witnessed long snapper Carson Tinker tear his ACL on a special teams coverage drill.
With the Jaguars still needing a long snapper to practice, Bluiett made it known he was willing to chip in.
"I saw what had happened during one of the drills with our long snapper and just offered my services," Bluiett said. "And it came down to it that I've done it in the past and it helped me out."
The 6-foot-3, 252-pound rookie spent Wednesday and Thursday rotating back-and-forth from tight end to long snapper. The double duty was eventually curbed by the signing of veteran long snapper Matt Overton.
Even though his work at long snapper looks to be over, he could eventually take on another second role.
Bluiett produced 4.5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss as a part-time defensive end for the Longhorns. If the Jaguars experience a few injuries along the defensive line, Bluiett could be called into action on the other side of the ball.
"I'll do whatever I need to help the team out," Bluiett said. "So whether that's playing defensive end or linebacker or tight end, I'll do anything to help the team out."
Bluiett is working to make the Jaguars' 10-man practice squad during training camp. He is currently part of a stacked depth chart at tight end. Barring a severe rash of injuries, his outlook is probably practice roster or bust.
That's why Bluiett needs to utilize his versatility to make himself more valuable. If a tight end or defensive end suffers an injury during the season, Bluiett needs to show he can make up the difference in practice.
"I've done some good things, I've done some bad things that have needed work, but for the most part, I think I've been just climbing up," Bluiett said. "Just steadily trying to learn the playbook and just trying to work my way up in different areas."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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