2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars giving several undrafted rookies a chance

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-05-05 17:00

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - When Georgia defensive tackle Abry Jones realized he wasn't getting drafted, he started looking around the NFL at potential landing spots as a free agent.

Jacksonville stood out, and not just because it was close to home.

The Warner Robins, Ga., native saw a new general manager, a new head coach and a gutted roster that surely would lead to open competition at nearly every position.

``It's a great place for rookies,'' Jones said Sunday.

No doubt. The rebuilding Jaguars expect to open the season with 12 to 15 rookies, maybe even more.

Most starters already have been penciled in. But several positions, including just about every backup spot, are up for grabs. That put a little extra emphasis on the team's three-day rookie minicamp that ended Sunday.

A handful of undrafted rookies stood out, including fullback Lonnie Pryor, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, tight end Ryan Otten, offensive tackle R.J. Dill, receiver Tobais Palmer, running back De'Leon Eskridge and defensive ends Paul Hazel and J.D. Griggs.

Eskridge and Griggs attended the camp on a tryout basis and could sign with the team Monday.

``I enjoyed every moment,'' Eskridge said. ``It's a good opportunity.''

None of those guys got as much attention as Jacksonville's draft picks. First-rounder Luke Joeckel, second-round safety Johnathan Cyprien and former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson drew the most interest.

But when Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley are filling out the 53-man roster in September, undrafted players are sure to be in the mix for the final spots.

``I really had a tough time initially with the NFL because there's a sense of disloyalty,'' Bradley said. ``They're here and then you cut them. When I first started out, that was new to me. I didn't know if I liked that part because in college you recruited them and you grow with them through the whole thing.

``The way I've been able to deal with it is this: I've told them the loyalty comes with us coaching every one of you as hard as we can.''

Still, the opportunities are obvious.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan fired general manager Gene Smith, the architect of the roster the last four years, after the worst season in franchise history.

Caldwell took over in January and started making changes.

The Jaguars parted ways with about two dozen veterans, including three-fourths of their starting secondary, a starting linebacker, a starting defensive tackle, a starting fullback, a backup running back, a backup tight end and a few receivers.

``I felt like if I had to go anywhere to get a starting position, this would be the best route for me to go,'' said Pryor, whose interest in Jacksonville grew after longtime Jaguars fullback Greg Jones signed with Houston. ``This franchise has gone through a lot of changes and probably will have more.''

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, linebacker Paul Posluszny, tight end Marcedes Lewis, defensive end Jeremy Mincey, receiver Cecil Shorts III, safety Dwight Lowery, place-kicker Josh Scobee, punter Bryan Anger and offensive linemen Eugene Monroe, Uche Nwaneri, Brad Meester and Will Rackley are among those considered safe.

Jacksonville also seems committed to the six veterans signed in free agency.

Even quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne seem immune to the overhaul for now.

But that didn't prevent former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott and former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers from signing as undrafted rookies.

``It's a good position for a quarterback to be,'' Scott said. ``They're going to have open competition, so we'll see how it goes.''

Scott (ankle) and Rodgers (groin) sat out Sunday's practice, but both expect to be ready when the Jaguars begin organized team activities May 13.

And just like the other 30-plus rookies on Jacksonville's roster, they all have a chance.

``They sense it,'' Bradley said. ``That was one of the reasons why it was a good free agency group for us - because they knew the opportunity.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Austin CollieJan 29 03:33a

Free-agent WR Austin Collie (Patriots) signed a contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Tom BradyJan 28 12:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (illness) admitted that he is currently battling a cold, but he said he expects to be 100% ready for the Super Bowl Sunday, [ More ]

Brandon MebaneJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks DL Brandon Mebane (hamstring) said Tuesday, Jan. 27, that his hamstring surgery went well and he should be full go for the team's offseason program in April.

Richard ShermanJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) has torn ligaments in his elbow, but he is improving daily and he is no longer receiving treatment for the injury.

LeGarrette BlountJan 27 08:33p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount should be a factor in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, in the opinion of Boston Herald writer Karen [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJan 27 07:43p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was directed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with a league-assigned psychiatrist following Peterson's suspension. The National Football League Players Association is now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 27 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is an offensive weapon that the Seattle Seahawks are focused on shutting down during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Seahawks head coach [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group