Only two preseason games remain for those on the roster bubble to make their case for why they should make the team. The Jaguars' comeback victory last week over the Saints helped the cause of several players such as QB Jordan Palmer. Thursday's game at Baltimore will further settle some battles.
Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2 and those who we think may soon be seeking alternative employment.
And here are our position-by-position projections:
QB -- In: (3) Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer. Out: Nathan Enderle. Analysis: The Jaguars are set up nicely here. They have their QB of the future in Gabbert, a veteran backup in Henne and a third man in place should there be an emergency situation. Palmer led another come-from-behind victory last Friday. Gabbert continues to look much sharper than he did in 2011. He has completed 18 of 26 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns through two preseason games.
RB -- In: (5) Maurice Jones-Drew , Rashad Jennings, Jalen Parmele, Greg Jones (FB), Montell Owens Out: Brock Bolen, Richard Murphy, DuJuan Harris, Keith Toston Analysis: Only time will tell when Jones-Drew will show up. Jennings continues to look capable of assuming the starting RB role in Jones-Drew's absence. He had another strong game with 11 carries for 62 yards against the Saints. Jones and Owens bring a lot of value and versatility. Toston hurt his chances when he went down with a hamstring injury last week.
WR -- In: (5) Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Mike Thomas, Brian Robiskie Out: Mike Brown, Kevin Elliott, Chastin West, Demetrius Williams. Analysis: This is one of the most intriguing battles in camp. The Jaguars could easily keep five or six guys. Robinson, Blackmon, Shorts and Thomas are virtual locks at this point. The battle for the fifth and potentially the sixth spot will be one to watch. Rookies Mike Brown and Kevin Elliott have been impressive, Demetrius Williams was brought in last week after veteran Lee Evans was released. Blackmon was solid in his NFL debut in week two with four receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive. Robiskie did nothing to hurt his chance at making the roster with two receptions for 26 yards last Friday.
TE -- In: (3) Marcedes Lewis, Zach Miller, Colin Cloherty Out: Matt Veldman, Zach Potter Analysis: Lewis and Miller should be fine despite Miller's injury-prone recent history. The third spot is up for grabs. Cloherty looked impressive last Friday with three grabs for 35 yards and one touchdown. For now, he overtakes Veldman in the race to be the third TE.
OL -- In (9): Eugene Monroe, Will Rackley, Brad Meester, Eben Britton, Uche Nwaneri, Jason Spitz, John Estes,Cameron Bradfield, Guy Whimper Out: Michael Brewster, D.J. Hall, Josh Beekman, Daniel Baldridge, Lee Barbiasz,Dan Hoch, Will Robinson. Analysis: The OL has been a survival-of-the-fittest scenario with all of the injuries that have occurred during camp. When the dust settles, these nine have the best combination of talent and experience to make the roster. Estes is the most in danger of missing significant time after undergoing knee surgery last week. If he is indeed out for a long time, he could end up on IR and rookie Mike Brewster might make the team. T Eugene Monroe has entered the concussion program in the past week, but it shouldn't affect his roster spot.
DL -- In (10): Jeremy Mincey, Andre Branch, Austen Lane, George Selvie, Aaron Morgan, C.J. Mosley, Tyson Alualu,Terrance Knighton, Jeris Pendleton, D'Anthony Smith, John Chick (PUP) Out: Kendrick Adams, Ryan Davis, Odrick Ray, Corvey Irvin, Drew Nowak. Analysis: They could go with nine on the defensive front, meaning Morgan or perhaps Pendleton could be on the bubble. Chick's long-term health is also a concern. This group is shaping up nicely with Mincey and Branch looking like the starters at DE, and Alualu, Mosley, Knighton and Smith looking like a strong rotation of DTs. Mincey was dominant last Friday, recording 1.5 sacks and forcing a fumble.
LB -- In (6): Paul Posluszny, Clint Session, Daryl Smith, Brandon Marshall, Russell Allen, J.K. Schaffer. Out: Kyle Bosworth, Joshua Jones, Julian Stanford, Nate Bussey. Analysis: This is a spot where the Jaguars could keep six or seven players. Having an extra LB or two on the roster is usually not a bad idea for special teams' purposes. Session is a real question mark going forward. The veteran LB has vowed to play in 2012, but lingering concussion symptoms might keep him on the sideline. The battle for the last spot or two will be one to watch with impressive youngsters such as Bussey, Schaffer and Stanford trying to make the team. Schaffer helped his cause in preseason week two by being all over the field and making five tackles.
DB -- In (9): Aaron Ross, Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Dwight Lowery, Dawan Landry, Chris Prosink i, Rod Issac,William Middleton, Mike Harris. Out: Antwon Blake, Antonio Dennard, Ashton Youboty, Trumaine McBride, Kevin Rutland, Leigh Torrence, Jeremiah Brown, Courtney Greene. Analysis: Ross, Cox, Mathis, Landry and Lowery look to be the principal characters here. The question will be who will provide the depth. The battle between sixth-round pick Mike Harris and veteran Ashton Youboty will be one to watch at this spot.
Special teams -- In (3): Josh Scobee, Bryan Anger, Jeremy Cain Out: Nobody. Analysis: Not much to discuss here. Anger continues to crush the ball on punts, so the Jaguars will have a chance to have one of the best kicking duos in the NFL.
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