Just as their fellow pro bretheren the Bucs and the Dolphins have done, the Jaguars put out their initial depth chart in advance of Thursday night’s opener at TIAA Bank Field against the Saints.
While there are givens, like Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette, Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey starting at their position, there are a couple of interesting decisions, initially.
Like, high priced wide receiver Donte Moncrief being listed as a third team receiver on the list. Now, Moncrief just returned to practice after missing a week with what is thought to be a slight knee injury. So that’s a factor. So too, is one of the Jags success stories of 2017, Keelan Cole, who is listed with Marqise Lee, as the starters.
And then came a very interesting name at strong side linebacker- Leon Jacobs, a seventh round pick is listed, at least for now, as the starter.
Jacksonville had to find a replacement for veteran leader Paul Posluszny. And, obviously Jacobs has shown defensive coordinator Todd Wash enough to be consistently taking first team reps with Brooks Ellis and Manase Hungalu are listed behind him.
Jacobs started all 14 games at outside linebacker last season in Madison, WI and recorded 60 tackles, 9 1/2 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks. The Badgers ranked #2 nationally in total defense, #3 in scoring defense, #3 in rushing defense and #1 in pass efficiency defense.
Jacobs played some of his best football down the stretch. He earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after he recorded 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Iowa. He notched 5 tackles with an interception against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and added 5 tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against Miami in the Orange Bowl.
And, it will only help Jacobs to have Pro Bowler Telvin Smith and young star Myles Jack to help him patrol the second level of the defense.
Now, as we’ve repeatedly stated with these depth chart releases, they can be downright silly, at times.
Still, Jacobs being where he is, seems to be deserved.
Now, let’s see what he looks like under fire against Drew Brees and the Saints.
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