Expectations for the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars Rookies: Part Two

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The Jacksonville Jaguars added a few key additions to their offense from the 2017 NFL Draft and provided depth at defensive positions of need albeit later in the draft than many fans would have hoped for. Only two of the Jaguars’ seven selections are expected to start this season, Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson. The remaining five players will compete in training camp to make a crack in their position group’s rotation or to become a key member on special teams.

This article will evaluate the expectations for the final four players selected by the Jaguars during the draft. Although their expectations will not be as high as the top three picks, there is certainly some potential; bearing a good preseason showing.

Expectations for the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars Rookies: Part Two

Dede Westbrook

Perhaps the most controversial pick of the Jags draft class, there has been a lot of speculation about where Westbrook will actually fit in. With an already talented young receiving core, Westbrook will likely play most of his snaps in the slot. An explosive athlete, Westbrook has the ability to provide a serious threat downfield. The former Oklahoma receiver excels in man coverage, and his ability to read opposing cornerbacks contributes to his impressive game.

Westbrook’s success this season hinges greatly on two things; his playing time, and quarterback Blake Bortles. The former number three overall pick struggled mightily last season, with the majority of his receivers also seeing a decline in their performances as a result. If Westbrook is to have a solid first season in Jacksonville, he will need Bortles to find some consistency. As a receiving threat, Westbrook adds another dimension to the Jaguars passing offense, and could be a serious threat downfield. A reasonable expectation for Westbrook might be 30 receptions for 450 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Blair Brown

For Brown this coming NFL season may not present many opportunities for a starting role. With talented linebackers such as Paul Posluzny, Myles Jack and Telvin Smith, Brown could find playing time hard to come by. It’s highly likely that Brown will get most of his playing time on special teams. Having said that, expect Brown to see at least some playing time in his natural position as a weak-side linebacker. Brown fits the bill as an aggressive playmaker, with his strongest attribute being his run-stopping ability. However, at just 5’11” Brown is significantly undersized and will certainly need time to adapt his game in order to compensate. During his rookie season, Brown will likely record 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Jalen Myrick

Another player who will likely see the majority of his game-time on special teams, the seventh round pick out of Minnesota will most likely be tasked with using his speed as a returner. Myrick displayed his impressive speed during the NFL combine, recording a 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash. The ability to use this as a kick returner will serve the Jaguars well. In terms of playing his natural position, Myrick could eventually develop into a solid corner in the league. His vertical jump and solid frame could see him slot in as the Jaguars third or fourth choice cornerback. However, with the duo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in front of him, Myrick could be short of minutes. Expectations for Myrick are likely to be around 15 tackles. As a returner, Myrick could record 320 yards with one touchdown.

Marquez Williams

Despite the signing of a fullback in free agency, Williams was brought to Jacksonville in order to aid Fournette in the power-run game. The former Hurricane acted almost exlusively as a run blocker in Miami; though he did display some athleticism as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Expect Williams to record around ten receptions for 50 yards, and one touchdown this coming season. In the rushing game, Williams will likely record 10 carries for 35 yards.

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