While the Jaguars have struggled to put it all together on Sundays, their regular season roster has been harder to make in recent years.
Gone are the days when a handful of undrafted free agents would be featured in key roles.
Jacksonville used to be a key spot for undrafted free agents to compete with questionable incumbent talent. With the emergence of a few draft picks and the acquisition of strong veteran talent over the last few years, that's no longer the case.
The Jaguars currently have 16 undrafted players on their roster.
We decided to take a look at all 16 players to figure out how they currently stack up entering training camp using three distinct categories.
There's A Chance
(Players who have a shot at a roster spot due to their talent or a lack of depth)
WR Amba Etta-Tawo
DE Hunter Dimick
DE Carroll Phillips
Rationale: On paper, there is a trio of undrafted free agents who may have a shot at the 53-man roster.
While the wide receiver position is one of the Jaguars' strongest depth groups, Etta-Tawo signed with the
team because of his relationship with coach Keenan McCardell. Etta-Tawo seemed to be among the stronger bottom-of-the-roster receivers during offseason workouts.
The Syracuse alum may be the dark horse at the position if the Jaguars decide to keep six wide receivers. He will have to bump Rashad Greene and Shane Wynn off the roster or benefit from injuries to make it.
The weak-side defensive end group is basically two players deep: Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler.
Veteran Lerentee McCray figures to factor into that group as well. The Jaguars also project third-round pick Dawuane Smoot to play some weak-side snaps.
While that's a decent group on paper, the Jaguars really have to bring the heat on opposing quarterbacks this year.
It wouldn't hurt to add a fifth young edge rusher to the mix. Phillips and Dimick both put up strong numbers in college and were the "name signings" in undrafted free agency. If they can get to the quarterback during the preseason and joint practices, one of them may have a shot at cracking the roster.
Practice Squad Likely
(Players competing for practice squad spots who likely have an edge as developmental talent)
RB Tim Cook
RB I'Tavius Mathers
WR Keelan Cole
WR Kenneth Walker
TE Caleb Bluiett
OG Avery Gennesy
LB Justin Horton
S Charlie Miller
CB Ezra Robinson
Rationale: On offense, there is plenty of depth.
At running back, the group is loaded. The undrafted free agents, Mathers and Cook, are probably destined for practice squad duty. The same can be said for Cole, Walker and Genessy.
On defense, Horton is a developmental talent from Jacksonville University, so the Jaguars will want to see how his skills translate to the pro game in the preseason. Miller, an Ivy League product, could also develop on the practice squad before getting a regular season look.
While the cornerback group isn't strong behind Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Aaron Colvin, Robinson may have a better shot at honing his skills on the practice squad. In order for Robinson to have a shot at the active roster, he will have to beat out the likes of Josh Johnson, Doran Grant and Jalen Myrick.
Tough Road Ahead
(Players competing to make other team's practice squads or rosters due to solid depth)
LB P.J Davis
S Jarrod Harper
DT Kevin Maurice
DT Tueni Lupeamanu
Rationale: The Jaguars have a decent amount of depth on their defensive line, which will make it harder for Lupeamanu and Maurice to make the practice squad.
If the team puts Dimick, Phillips, Jonathan Woodard or Michael Bennett on the practice roster, the third-string defensive tackles will be out of luck.
Harper was brought in during the offseason program so he appears to be at the bottom of the safety depth chart. He will have to beat out Miller, Robinson and other lower-ranked defensive backs to stick in Jacksonville. The odds don't seem to be in his favor.
Davis is an undersized linebacker and the team already has Myles Jack, Paul Posluszny, Telvin Smith, Josh McNary, Blair Brown, Hayes Pullard and Audie Cole at the position.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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