Remember when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars were competing for the first overall pick and the right to draft Teddy Bridgewater? Turns out neither of them won that contest, and both of them passed on Bridgewater. Still, there's plenty of stuff to talk about. Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
1) How has Blake Bortles looked? Is he saving the franchise?
Bortles has made steady progress throughout training camp so far. He was a bit sketchy in OTAs and mini-camp, but the Jaguars expected that as they were tearing down his throwing mechanics and re-doing his footwork. He came into training camp further along than even the team expected and has made progress each day. In my opinion Chad Henne probably still starts Week 1 as planned, but Bortles could make that decision tough if he continues.
2) Who's the best player on the Jaguars' roster?
The best player on the Jaguars roster currently is probably defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks. He was signed off the scrap heap last season in free agency on a one year deal and become the Jaguars most consistent pass rusher on the defensive line. He's playing the three-technique role on the Jaguars defense, meaning his job is to penetrate upfield, and he did so well last season he was handed a new four year contract.
3) How good can the Jaguars be this year? Are they still in rebuilding mode, or is this time to start winning?
The Jaguars are still in rebuilding mode, but the good thing is the head coach, general manager and owner are all cognizant of this. The team looked much different the last half of last season and the expectation is to build off of that. The team, regardless of who's at quarterback, should push for somewhere around 6-8 wins in most fans eyes, which would show steady progress.
4) How are the former Bucs on your roster doing? Roy Miller? Dekoda Watson? Geno Hayes? Allen Bradford? Wait, you have Allen Bradford?!?
Roy Miller has looked much better so far in training camp than he did last season, though we found out after the season ended he was playing with a bum shoulder since about Week 3. Dekoda Watson had surgery for a sports hernia so he's on the PUP list and Geno Hayes was a consistent player on the defense last year as a weakside linebacker. Yes, we do have Allen Bradford! But, he's playing linebacker and not running back, the position he originally played for Pete Carroll at USC. Gus Bradley was on the Seahawks staff when Carroll brought Bradford back and moved him to linebacker.
5) Which undrafted free agent should we look out for/doesn't totally suck?
One player who should get a lot of action on Friday that has a good shot to make the team is former Miami wide receiver Allen Hurns. He was a player many thought the Jaguars would target due to his connection to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and he hasn't disappointed yet in training camp. With all the injuries at the wide receiver position, Hurns will likely start for the Jaguars on Friday.