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Jacksonville Jaguars

Two Jaguars make “25 players under age 25” list

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As this Memorial Day Weekend rolls on, we enjoy time with family, lots of food and looking around for interesting topics or lists about football. And, in this case, an intriguing one popped up Sunday about the “Top 25 NFL players under the age of 25.”

This list was compiled by CBSsports.com writer Sean Wagner-McGough and was set forth with some interesting criteria:

Obviously the players had to be under the age of 25, however, they could not be rookies who have yet to set foot on an NFL field.

Further, his list was based on not only career accomplishment, but his projection of what the player could still become

And then, is “positional value ranking.” In other words, how important is that player and his role to his team’s success?

And finally, Wagner admitted, right away, that once you start with the criteria trying to work down from 50 to 25, it’s very difficult.

With that in mind  we at F.F.I. found it interesting that the two Jaguars made the list with linebacker Myles Jack at #25 and is expected to have a bigger role, now that Telvin Smith appears to be ready to sit out the entire season for whatever personal problems that he’s having.

It’s further not surprising that Jalen Ramsey is also on the CBSsports.com list coming in at #8. Ramsey is regarded as one of the best man-to-man cover corners in football, despite his headaches off the field.

And that’s it for state NFL players under 25.

So, if you were looking for a Buccaneer or a Dolphins on that list, they didn’t make it.

Now, it should be pointed out that both Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and star receiver Mike Evans are already 25 years old and therefore, by the criteria, not eligible for consideration. Evans, especially would be a top 10 player on any such of these lists.

One of his receiving mates that should get more consideration is outstanding Bucs tight end and former number 1 pick, O.J. Howard. Howard is about to enter his third season and has already shown himself to be a tremendous pass-catching weapon downfield at his humongous size. He has a 16.6 yards per catch average with 11 touchdowns in 24 games of two seasons cut short by injury.

As for the Dolphins, they are obviously greatly devoid of talent at most positions and trying to reload. However, if you were wondering why Pro Bowl DB Xavien Howard is not included on Wagner-McGough’s list? It’s because, he’s already also 25 years old.

Probably, the Dolphins other most logical choice would be left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who they took in the top 10 of the 2016 draft. He is coming into his own as an offensive lineman (especially with pass blocking) and probably is the best candidate under the CBSsports.com criteria

It’s not surprising the Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the list after the amazing season he had a year ago. The next two on the list or Chargers defensive end, Joey Bosa and likewise, Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett. Both of whom are more based on their projection for the future and their positional value related to other players under the criteria than what they’ve done so far.

The CBSSports.com Top 5 is rounded out by Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson and then, Browns QB Baker Mayfield.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.

Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.

First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.

Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.

Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.

Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.

However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.

The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.

Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.

That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.

Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.

Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.

The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.

Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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