Jacksonville Jaguars Camp and Preview: Offense

@HindenburgScout gives a preview of the Jacksonville Jaguars offense and what to watch for throughout training camp and predicts who makes the cut.
#DUUUVAL

Kam Nedd/Jaguars.com

August 3rd will be the biggest test yet for the Trevor Lawrence lead Jacksonville Jaguar offense. Reports out of Jacksonville have been nothing short of glowing regarding the first #1 overall pick in franchise history. Last week, the secondary was exclusively in off coverage, a cautious approach as a result of some hefty fines levied against the team and Coach Meyer. Lawrence took full advantage and had stellar moments each day. Monday, Lawrence struggled a bit as the secondary was allowed to play press. Tuesday, all the training wheels come off as full pads and contact return to the practice field. While all eyes will be (rightfully) on Trevor Lawrence, let’s break down the current roster and decisions to be made in the coming weeks across the rest of the offense.

Quarterbacks:

Current: Trevor Lawrence, Gardner Minshew, CJ Beathard, Jake Luton.

2021 Jaguars Training Camp - Day 5
Courtesy of Kam Nedd via jaguars.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars have yet to name a starting quarterback through 5 training camp practices. It is entirely possible that Coach Meyer doesn’t name Lawrence the starter for quite some time. However, he will absolutely be under center against the Houston Texans in the season opener. The intrigue at the quarterback position revolves around local icon Gardner Minshew. Minshew has produced enough quality performances that he expects to compete for playing time. While not likely to happen in Jacksonville, the former 6th round pick is among the absolute best back ups in the league and could start for a few teams. So far, Minshew has been clearly better than free agent acquisition CJ Beathard. Barring a trade offer better than a day 3 pick, the thought here is that Minshew will back up Lawrence this fall. Carrying 3 quarterbacks wouldn’t make much sense given the talent at wideout and the rotation desired along the defensive front. Look for Luton to be back on the practice squad.

Running Backs:

Current: James Robinson, Travis Etienne, Carlos Hyde, Devine Ozigbo, Dare Ogunbowale, Nathan Cottrell

2021 Jaguars Training Camp - Day 5
Courtesy of Kam Nedd via jaguars.com

Robinson, Etienne and Hyde are all more than capable of being the primary back on game day. Given the roles planned for Etienne, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 4th back kept on the roster. Nathan Cottrell is a special teams stand out who made it to the active roster near the end of last season. Extremely athletic and versatile, he’ll be back on the practice squad if cut.

Tight Ends:

Current: Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Tim Tebow, Tyler Davis, Ben Ellefson, Luke Farrell

Plenty of observers thought the circus had come to town when Tim Tebow was signed. As it turns out, he’s just a bottom of the depth chart type player. Manhertz and O’Shaughnessy are looking the part and are likely entrenched at the top of the depth chart. Farrell likely earns a spot on the active roster. Look for the team to stash Tyler Davis on the practice squad if they add another veteran or keep Ellefson. I’ll believe that a roster spot will be wasted on Tebow when I see it. With full contact should come the end of the experiment.

Wide Receivers:

Current: DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones, Collin Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Laquon Treadwell, Jamal Agnew, Pharoh Cooper, Tim Jones, Josh Imatorbhebhe, Josh Hammond, Jalen Camp

The Jacksonville Jaguars have quite the variety and a ton of talent at the position. The top 3 are written in stone with Chark, Jones and Shenault. There’s a ton of competition after those for two or three roster spots. Agnew was signed for his return ability, and Cooper has shown he can be dangerous with the ball in space as well. Collin Johnson flashed as a rookie at times and is a big target who can be very friendly to a young quarterback. Treadwell is playing his ass off trying to get his once promising career back on track. Dorsett has the big play ability and speed that Meyer loves having around. Imatorbhebhe has had some strong moments already, and Jalen Camp has been a pleasant surprise when given the opportunity as well. Given the talent and style of offense being built, it’s a safe bet the team will keep six. Best guess? Chark, Jones, Shenault, Dorsett, Johnson and Agnew. Look for the team to try and get Camp and Imatorbhebhe on the practice squad.

Offensive Line:

Current: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, AJ Cann, Jawaan Taylor, Walker Little, Ben Bartch, Tyler Shatley, Will Richardson, Derwin Gray, KC McDermott, Garrett McGhin, Austen Pleasants, Tre’Vour Wallace-Sims

2021 Jaguars Training Camp - Day 5
Courtesy of Kam Nedd via jaguars.com

Many observers expected the organization to overhaul the position group between free agency and the draft. Instead it’s more of the same. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, as the team was pretty transparent about liking the group they had and they retained Coach Warhop from the previous regime. While the assumption is the starters from last season will keep their roles, Coach Meyer has instructed the staff to evaluate everyone with the intent of pure competition.

Much offensive success will hinge on the continued development of Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson. Walker Little could push either for a job if they struggle. Ben Bartch could also push AJ Cann for the RG spot and it’s something I’ll be watching intently as camp progresses. The addition of Little could mean Will Richardson will be on the outside looking in. More on that later. Tyler Shatley has filled in admirably for Linder in past seasons and will be on the roster for that reason.

There’s a ton of excitement and buzz around the offense and it’s potential to be vastly improved with the addition of Trevor Lawrence and the talent at the skill positions. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t matter if this group isn’t rock solid week in and week out. Offensive line is the most important component for success, that’s true no matter how much the game changes.

Projected Offense

  1. Trevor Lawrence
  2. Gardner Minshew
  3. James Robinson
  4. Travis Etienne
  5. Carlos Hyde
  6. DJ Chark
  7. Marvin Jones
  8. Laviska Shenault
  9. Phillip Dorsett
  10. Collin Johnson
  11. Jamal Agnew
  12. Chris Manhertz
  13. James O’Shaughnessy
  14. Luke Farrell
  15. Tyler Davis
  16. Cam Robinson
  17. Andrew Norwell
  18. Brandon Linder
  19. AJ Cann
  20. Jawaan Taylor
  21. Walker Little
  22. Ben Bartch
  23. Tyler Shatley
  24. Will Richardson

But What If? TRADE MACHINE

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the unique position of having a few players that other teams may be willing to part with draft capital to acquire, particularly as injuries take their inevitable toll as camp progresses into the pre season. I don’t like throwing out trade candidates because the NFL isn’t Madden. However, this offseason is slightly different due to the personnel and coaching changes.

Gardner Minshew

As I mentioned earlier, Minshew has shown the ability to win football games at the NFL level. There’s a few teams he could start for right now to be quite honest. The signing of CJ Beathard is what makes this trade possible, albeit unlikely. Minshew is on a rookie contract, respected by his teammates and outperforming the other quarterbacks on the roster- #1 overall pick and generational talents not included. It would likely take a Day 2 draft pick for the Jaguars to part with Minshew.

Will Richardson

Richardson has been used inside and out by the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent seasons, and even started a pair of games at Left Tackle in the place of injured Cam Robinson last season. That kind of versatility and experience could make Richardson an attractive option for a team hit with a rash of offensive line injuries. The addition of Walker Little simply make Richardson expendable through no fault of his own. An early Day 3 draft selection in what looks to be a very good 2022 draft class could outweigh having a ninth lineman on the final roster.

Final Thoughts…

Here’s hoping the talk of open competition is more than just motivational coach speak in the hot summer sun. The offense should absolutely be improved over recent seasons, even with a rookie quarterback at the helm. One of the more exciting things to see is the inclusion of more modern schemes and route concepts that have been missing from passing game. The offensive line has to gel, and the best five need to be on the field. How the coaching staff chooses to use players such as Travis Etienne, Laviska Shenault and the mixed bag at the tight end position are going to be critical. Here’s hoping to a productive and healthy training camp. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or just yell at me on Twitter, @HindenburgScout! Stay tuned for my defensive preview.

By the way… I am thrilled to be a part of the ATB Network, and hope you’ll give me a chance when it comes to coverage of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I’m excited! #DUUUVAL

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