By Hays Carlyon
The Jaguars have splurged on a glut of acquisitions this offseason. The additions began with seven free-agent signees, then a trade for quarterback Cody Kessler, followed by a seven-man draft class.
A team that reached the AFC Championship Game, eliminated Pittsburgh and Buffalo from the playoffs and won the AFC South now looks stronger.
Training camp in late July can’t get here fast enough. This will be one of the most competitive camps in the NFL.
Let’s take an early look at what the 53-man roster might look like right now.
OFFENSE (25 players)
Quarterbacks: Blake Bortles and Kessler.
Overview: Bortles is the clear starter. Kessler should hold off sixth-round rookie Tanner Lee for the backup job. I don’t think the Jaguars will keep three quarterbacks, but general manager Dave Caldwell is open to doing so.
Running backs: Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant and Tommy Bohanon (fullback).
Overview: This is one spot where the Jaguars could add a veteran or where a future undrafted free agent might make the team. For now, we’ll go with the best 53. That means only having three running backs.
Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Marqise Lee, DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens.
Overview: Despite losing Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, this group is well set. Mickens will likely need to work more magic at punt returner to make the team.
Tight end: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Koyack, James O’Shaughnessy and Niles Paul.
Overview: The weakest position group on the roster (again). Jaguars personnel chief Tom Coughlin was interested in adding to this position in the draft but the value never matched up. There could be a veteran addition made here or an undrafted contender.
Offensive line: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, Will Richardson, Tyler Shatley, Chris Reed and William Poehls.
Overview: The only drama in camp barring injury will be if Richardson can push Parnell. That seems unlikely, but the fourth-round rookie could push last year’s swing tackle, Josh Wells, off the roster.
DEFENSE (25 players)
Defensive line: Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Taven Bryan, Abry Jones, Dawuane Smoot and Eli Ankou.
Overview: The strongest position on the team and the most dominant unit in the NFL. If Bryan is an immediate difference maker look out.
Linebacker: Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Blair Brown, Lerentee McCray, Donald Payne and Leon Jacobs.
Overview: I’ll say Jacobs makes it as a seventh-rounder. Brown will have one of the brightest spotlights in camp as he tries to assert himself as the third linebacker in base defense.
Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden, Jalen Myrick, Tyler Patmon and Don Carey.
Overview: The battle at nickel to replace Colvin will be interesting between Hayden and Patmon. Carey should stick for his special teams value.
Safety: Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church, Ronnie Harrison and Cody Davis.
Overview: One intriguing question in camp will be if Harrison can push Church at all for the starting spot at strong safety. Davis should make it for his worth on special teams.
SPECIAL TEAMS (three players)
Josh Lambo (kicker), Logan Cooke (punter) and Carson Tinker (long snapper).
Overview: The Jaguars used a visit and draft pick on Cooke. I’ll say the seventh-round selection beats out Brad Nortman.
(You can email Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).