JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars must cut their roster to 53 by 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2. Here’s a final 53-man roster projection:
Bortles has been named the starter for the season opener after beating out Henne, but he'll have little leeway. He must cut down on his turnovers, but coach Doug Marrone says Bortles has looked the best he has seen since he won the competition. Mobility is key at this spot because of the offensive line's struggles, so that's partly why Allen sticks around.
Don't be surprised if Ivory actually starts the opener against Houston, but Fournette is certainly going to be the feature back. Yeldon has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but he's by far the best pass blocker of the group and that makes him valuable. Grant has an element the others don't -- blazing speed -- and he can be the kickoff returner, too.
FULLBACK (1): Tommy Bohanon
Seventh-round pick Marquez Williams has been hurt a lot in camp and he's a practice squad candidate.
Rashad Greene, the team's fifth-round pick in 2015, doesn't make the team after a good rookie season as a punt returner. Cole has been one of the stars of camp even though he has dropped touchdown passes in back-to-back preseason games. He's a help on special teams coverage units and can return punts as well. Robinson has had a monster camp in a critical contract season. Westbrook is dealing with a core muscle injury so don't be surprised to see the Jaguars put him on IR. If that were to happen, Shane Wynn probably would take his spot on the roster.
Lewis, who is entering his 12th season with the Jaguars, will be used heavily as a blocker. Ellis can do some fullback work, too, so that gives him an edge over some of the others. Mychal Rivera hasn't practiced since July so it's hard to see him making the roster.
This unit has really struggled in the preseason and that was one of the reasons Marrone said he went with Bortles, who has better mobility than Henne. Failing to make upgrades to this unit the past two offseasons has been the team's biggest mistake, and it's going to cost the Jaguars a chance to be competitive in the division. QB has been a major issue, too, but the line's breakdowns make it hard for whichever quarterback starts.
This unit has surprisingly struggled against the run in the preseason. In fact, it got pushed around pretty good by the Bucs and Panthers. We knew there would be issues in the pass rush. Campbell is the only proven pass-rusher and he's not a speed edge rusher. Ngakoue and Fowler have to deliver. The Jaguars haven't had a player record double-digit sacks since Bobby McCray in 2007.
Posluszny playing middle linebacker on first and second down and Jack moving to the spot on third down and in nickel situations was the move the Jaguars should have made instead of putting Jack in the middle and sliding Posluszny to strongside linebacker. McCray is working at strongside linebacker, too, but he'll be a key special teams performer.
Ramsey, Bouye and Colvin have all dealt with injuries and missed time in camp and the preseason so it makes sense for the Jaguars to carry a fifth corner. Patmon has been very impressive -- he has at least six interceptions in camp -- and has locked up the fourth spot. Dixon gets the nod over seventh-round pick Jalen Myrick, who has really struggled.
Marrone said the on-field communication between Church and Gipson has been exceptional and that should result in fewer blown coverages. Church is much more consistent than Johnathan Cyprien so the Jaguars have upgraded there. Thompson is also a key special teams player.
No surprises here.