In the early hours of Friday am UK time, the Jacksonville Jaguars will begin their first preseason effort against the Baltimore Ravens. With nailed on starters unlikely to feature in any meaningful capacity, it is left to those battling to earn their stripes to try and impress the Jaguars upper echelons. Here we take a glance at some players to keep an eye on.
1. Breon Borders (CB)
An undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2017, Borders has bounced around the practice squads of the Raiders, Bills and Texans. He was then promoted to the active roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of 2018. With the starter duo of AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey locked into their roles, its hard to see where Borders fits in. Nevertheless, reports suggest he has been making big plays all training camp. He will be battling hard to earn himself a spot on the roster come the regular season
2. Jawaan Taylor (OT)
Many people were surprised when Taylor fell to the Jaguars in the 2nd round of the draft. Some draft analysis had the Jaguars taking him at number 7 overall. Listed as the backup at RT on the first Jaguars depth chart, expect the former Florida Gator to feature heavily in the preseason. It would be no surprise if he were to win the starting RT spot come September.
3. Chris Conley (WR)
In recent seasons, the Jaguars have struggled to find consistency at the wide receiver position, whether that be due to injuries (Allen Hurns) or draft busts (Justin Blackmon). However, word coming out of the Jaguars practice sessions is that Conley is developing some nice chemistry with Nick Foles. Showing in flashes what he is capable of in Kansas City, Conley will be hoping a change of scenery will reinvigorate his career.
4. Gardner Minshew (QB)
Winning the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, and finishing 5th in the Heisman trophy standings 2018 led to Minshew being drafted in the 6th round by the Jaguars. He had the majority of the reps with the 2nd string team during training camp. It looks like the backup QB job is Minshew’s to lose. Expect him to get several series under centre in the preseason opener to prove his worth.
5. Leonard Fournette (RB)
A bit left field. A player more well known than those above, and not battling for a roster spot is Leonard Fournette. He has a lot to prove after a disappointing 2018 season. However, he seems to be in better shape and has been performing well in camp. The plan seems to be to give him a few touches in this game to build on his camp form, before withdrawing him. It will be interesting to see how he utilises his limited opportunities
Feature image credit: jaguars.com