The Jacksonville Jaguars rookies will be the spotlight of the first pre-season game on Saturday. Jacksonville plays host to the Cleveland Browns at 7 pm Eastern time at TIAA Bank Field.
While there are crucial position battles ongoing, the Jaguars coaching staff will get their first true look at the 2021 rookie class this weekend. As the Jaguars prepare for a new era of football in Duval, these rookies could have a big impact this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Rookies to Watch in First Game of Preseason
First, Trevor Lawrence will be locked in to a big position battle for the starting quarterback spot. Both he and Gardner Minshew will battle it out during the three pre-season games. Lawrence is expected to be the Week one starter. On Saturday, Jaguars coaches and fans get their first look at the future of the franchise. Lawrence surely won’t play the entire game. However, expect him to play a good bit under center. From the looks of training camp, Lawrence is set to pick apart the Browns defense with eye popping passes.
Travis Etienne could end up playing both running back and wide receiver in 2021. During the pre-season, expect him to play both spots. He is a solid pass catcher but has electrifying determination in the running game. Furthermore, Etienne running behind a solid offensive line could give him space for a few big runs on Saturday.
Walker Little has been turning heads in training camp. The offensive lineman will see playing time in the rotation this year. For the Jaguars offensive line, having a touted rookie like Little getting experience is a big factor into the unit. He may not start, but Little will see valuable time on Saturday.
Extra Depth on Defense
Tyson Campbell was the 33rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Georgia Bulldog will compete for a spot in the cornerback rotation. Campbell has impressive skills and could make a few highlight plays on Saturday.
Andre Cisco is another Jaguars secondary player that has been impressive in camp. The former Virginia Cavalier was selected 65th overall in this year’s draft. The former Syracuse Orange standout could become a key piece to the secondary for the Jaguars. He plays the safety position well and just might work his way into a starting role at some point during the season.
On the defensive line, Jay Tufele and Jordan Smith could impress during the pre-season. Tufele was selected 106th overall and Smith was picked 121st. Tufele had a solid college career at USC, and Smith was a solid defensive lineman at UAB. Expect both Tufele and Smith to see time during the pre-season. Jacksonville’s defensive front is loaded. However, both of these players will be competing for a rotational spot.
Jacksonville’s rookies will have to impress to earn playing time in 2021. While the big names are obvious, a few of the later round selections will have to put in production on the field to make the final 53-man roster. As the pre-season nears, the Jaguars are anxious to get going. The 2021 rookie class is loaded with talent that will be on display in full force on Saturday against the Browns.
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