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Jacksonville Jaguars

Notable names for Jaguars, Buccaneers and Dolphins undrafted free agents

Florida Football Insiders



Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2018 NFL Draft complete, the next phase of sifting through prospects is signing undrafted free agents. The Jaguars, the Dolphins and the Buccaneers all got that going over the course of the last 36 hours and now have begun to publicize those names and lists.

First in Jacksonville, the Jaguars signed 13 free agents led by a couple of prominent names.

Iowa State receiver Allen Lazard (above)  is 6’4 and back to back first team all Big XII wide receiver the last two years. And, he is the Cyclones all time leader in receptions, and receiving yards. He will come in looking to compete with what is already a young talent pool at that position. This includes second round pick D.J. Chark out of LSU.

The Jags also signed an intriguing FCS pass rushing linebacker in Darius Jackson of Jacksonville (AL) State. Jackson was the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year leading that division with 20.5 tackles for loss. He also finished with 27.5 career sacks.

In Miami, the Fins got some additional names that are interesting. The first is 5’9 Utah State defensive back Jalen Davis, who was a first team All Mountain West performer. That included his 15 pass breakups and five interceptions, three of them returned for touchdowns in 2017.

Also, the Dolphins will welcome Michigan inside LB Mike McCray who at 6’1 and 245lbs. is more of a run stopper, and played in a 3-4 scheme with the Wolverines.

Miami will also bring in FAU kicker Greg Joseph to compete in the off season with seventh round draft pick Jason Sanders of New Mexico. Joseph had a good senior season with the Conference USA Champions making 15 of 21 field goals that included a 54 yarder.

Finally, the Buccaneers also released their list of undrafted free agents. Among those is FCS Minnesota State defensive end Evan Perrizo, who had 12 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss last year. Also being brought in is Arkansas QB Austin Allen, the younger brother of former Hogs and Jaguars backup Brandon Allen. However, with Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin re-signed, Allen is more of a “camp body” to look over at this point.

The Bucs will also bring in North Texas kicker Trevor Moore to look at this spring. Tampa Bay has had a horrendous time finding a consistent kicker for the last few years. They signed former Jets kicker Chandler Cantanzaro in March.

And, speaking of kickers and on the sentimental connection front, Tampa Bay has invited Northwestern safety Godwin Igwebuike to Tampa. And if that name looks familar, it should-he’s the nephew of former Bucs kicker from the 1980’s, Donald Igwebuike.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars “cornerstone” player for 2018?

Florida Football Insiders



Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The third installment of our “cornerstone” players series takes us to North Florida. And, as the Jaguars get ready to start up 2018, we wondered which impact player would be the one to build around.

You could make arguments for last year’s top free agent acquisition defensive tackle Calais Campbell, or lock down corner Jalen Ramsey, as being that player. However, it’s a player on the offensive side of the ball that appears to be everything that Jacksonville could have hoped for in a running back. That running back is Leonard Fournette.

Fournette, whom the Jags took fourth overall in the draft, is fantastic physical talent at 6’0 230lbs. with a blend of speed and power. And in his debut season, repeatedly showed why you would want to have your offense centered on his ability pound on a defense.

He made a tremendous impact from the beginning of the Jags breakout 2017 with a 100 yard game in the opening win at Houston, and three more 100 yard games in the first nine.

There was lull in Fournette’s productivity due an ankle injury and he also missed a game in Indianapolis due disciplinary reasons, but eventually, Fournette got back on track. He ran for 109 yards and 3 TDs in Jacksonville’s statement win over Seattle in December that clinched the first playoff spot for Jacksonville in 11 seasons.

Then, in the post season Fournette was just okay against the Bills in the AFC Wildcard game with 57 yards on 21 carries. However the next week in Pittsburgh, Fournette set the tone early and often with two first quarter TDs. He finished with 109 yards and 3 rushing TDs, and Jacksonville stunned the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The Jags sledgehammer back scored another early TD and finished with 76 yards rushing as the Patriots rallied to win 24-20 scoring in the final three minutes to knock the Jaguars out of the Superbowl.

Of course there will be great scrutiny on the play of quarterback Blake Bortles, and rightfully so.

However, much of the Jaguars success offensively, the identity of what they want to do, will be centered around Leonard Fournette.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:


And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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