After an intriguing NFL offseason, what is the shape of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ depth chart? Which players are set to start, and who is competing for starting spots and scrapping to make the roster?
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
How does the Jaguars’ depth chart look following the selection of their face of the franchise?
Quarterback: Trevor Lawrence, Gardner Minshew II, C.J. Beathard, Jake Luton
Running Back: James Robinson, Travis Etienne, Carlos Hyde, Dare Ogunbowale, Devine Ozigbo, Nathan Cottrell
Wide Receiver: D.J. Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Phillip Dorsett II, Collin Johnson, Jamal Agnew, Jalen Camp, Pharoah Cooper, Terry Godwin, Jon’Vea Johnson, Josh Hammond, Josh Imatorabhebhe, Tim Jones
Tight End: Chris Manhertz, Luke Farrell, James O’Shaughnessy, Tyler Davis, Tim Tebow, Ben Ellefson
Offensive Tackle: Cam Robinson, Jawaan Taylor, Will Richardson Jr., Walker Little, Derwin Gray, Austen Pleasants
Offensive Guard: Andrew Norwell, A.J. Cann, Ben Bartch, K.C. McDermott, Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, Garrett McGhin
Center: Brandon Linder, Tyler Shatley
Nose Tackle: Malcom Brown, Jay Tufele, Daniel Ekuale, Daniel Ross
Defensive Line: Roy Robertson-Harris, Taven Bryan, Adam Gotsis, Jihad Ward, Doug Costin, Aaron Patrick, Kenny Randall, DaVon Hamilton
Outside Linebacker: Josh Allen, K’Lavon Chaisson, Jordan Smith, Jihad Ward, Lerentee McCray Chapelle Russell
Inside Linebacker: Joe Schobert, Myles Jack, Damien Wilson, Leon Jacobs, Dylan Moses, Dakota Allen, Quincy Williams, Shaquille Quarterman
Cornerback: C.J. Henderson, Shaquill Griffin, Tre Herndon, Tyson Campbell, Sidney Jones, Luq Barcoo, Chris Claybrooks, Corey Straughter, D.J. Daniel, Jameson Houston
Safety: Rayshawn Jenkins, Jarrod Wilson, Andre Cisco, Rudy Ford, Josh Jones, Brandon Rusnak, Daniel Thomas, Andrew Wingard
Kicker: Josh Lambo, Aldrick Rosas
Punter: Logan Cooke
Long Snapper: Ross Matiscik
Jaguars Depth Chart Analysis | Offense
Which positions are up for grabs on the offense in the coming months, and which players are seemingly locked in?
The unsurprising selection of Trevor Lawrence immediately settles the Jaguars’ quarterback depth chart. Unless he has a horrific training camp or gets injured, Lawrence is virtually guaranteed to start for the Jaguars in Week 1.
Let’s be honest, we all knew that Gardner Minshew was not going to be the starting quarterback for the Jaguars. That honor will almost certainly go to Lawrence. The question now is whether or not Minshew stays on the team or is traded away. While he’s no franchise savior, the guy can play, and much of last year’s issues can be linked back to the thumb injury he was hiding from the team.
In free agency, the Jaguars signed C.J. Beathard to a two-year, $5 million deal that gives them the flexibility to move Minshew while stashing a capable backup on the depth chart. Beathard has played all four of his NFL seasons in San Francisco. He has appeared in 19 games with 12 starts and completed 291-of-497 passes for 3,469 yards and 18 TDs. He has also rushed for 233 yards and 4 TDs on the ground.
An undrafted free agent out of Illinois State, James Robinson came out of nowhere in 2020. He led running backs with 86% of the team’s carries and finished tied for fifth in rushing yards with 1,070, despite missing the season’s final two games. Robinson also showed some ability in the passing game, hauling in 49 passes for 344 yards and 3 additional scores.
Bringing in Travis Etienne in the first round immediately raises intrigue around the Jaguars’ depth chart at running back. Robinson’s numbers were extremely impressive as a rookie, but Etienne has the potential to be the best back in the NFL due to his ability in the running and passing games. The early expectation is that we see Etienne eased in as a running back, playing extra snaps as a receiver to get him on the field more regularly.
Jacksonville added Carlos Hyde with a two-year, $6 million deal. Last year, he had 81 carries for 356 yards and 16 catches for 93 yards for the Seattle Seahawks. Hyde is just good enough to be a serviceable backup but lacks any real upside that could ruin Robinson’s ceiling, especially for fantasy football players.
Dare Ogunbowale enters his fifth season. In 34 career games, he has 43 rushes for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 45 receptions for 340 yards. He will compete with Devine Ozigbo and Nathan Cottrell for one of the final roster spots.
D.J. Chark is on the short list of players expected to break out in 2021. Chark is coming off a mediocre 2020 season, catching 53 passes for 706 yards and 5 touchdowns. However, it can just as easily be explained with Jacksonville’s QB play as the rotating door of Minshew, Jake Luton, and Mike Glennon all struggling.
The 2019 season, on the other hand, gave a peek into the player Chark could be. That season, Chark hauled in 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 8 touchdowns. Making the jump to Lawrence under center could unlock Chark just in time for his contract season.
Of all the moves during free agency, Marvin Jones’ addition to the Jaguars’ depth chart was one of my favorites. In five seasons with the Detroit Lions, Jones hauled in 234 receptions (62.4%) for 3,366 yards ad 32 touchdowns.
Laviska Shenault can do things on the field others simply dream about pulling off. He can play the “Z” and run a complex route tree. Shenault can set up in the slot and run everything from jet sweeps to over-the-middle routes and then end up in the backfield as an RB. Knowing the creativity of Urban Meyer, Shenault should be a busy player in 2021.
Collin Johnson has something that you can’t teach — size. At 6’6″, Johnson could quickly be the red-zone specialist for Lawrence in 2021. There is a lot of competition for roster spots and playing time at the bottom of the receiving depth chart. Jamal Agnew, Phillip Dorsett, and Pharoah Cooper all came in as free agents, while Jalen Camp, Josh Imatorbhebhe, and Tim Jones came in as late-round draft picks or UDFAs. Those six could be competing for one or two roster spots at the end of camp.
In free agency, the Jaguars added TE Chris Manhertz to their depth chart. A former Carolina Panther, Manhertz has played in 70 career games catching 12 passes for 142 yards and 1 touchdown. Meanwhile, James O’Shaughnessy is coming off the best season of his career, reeling in 28 catches for 262 yards.
The addition of Luke Farrell in the fifth round adds more competition for a starting role in 2021. None of these three are locked in as a starter, and the position could very much be open for the taking. The tight end position will get a lot of focus because of the presence of Tim Tebow. In a weak depth chart at the position, could Tebow stake a claim for a starting role?
Cam Robinson received the franchise tag from the Jaguars during the offseason. Robinsons has started 47 games in four NFL seasons but missed 14 games in 2018 because of a torn ACL.
Jawaan Taylor started all 16 games but struggled in his second season as he led the NFL in pressures allowed with 56. It is worth noting, however, that he showed progression as the season ended. From Week 12 on, Taylor allowed just 2.5 pressures per game. Sure, those numbers are far from elite, but an improvement nonetheless.
With Taylor not completely locked in as the starter, there could be a competition for the right tackle role. Will Richardson has just three starts in his career, with Derwin Gray yet to start a game. That opens the potential for second-round draft pick Walker Little to earn reps. While his career at Stanford was heavily disrupted by injury, Little has the potential to be a long-term starter in the NFL.
Logging 82.3% of yearly snaps over the past three seasons, Andrew Norwell took a pay cut during the offseason. Norwell has a history with Urban Meyer as Norwell was at Ohio State when Meyer arrived on campus.
A.J. Cann still remaining on the Jaguars’ depth chart is a touch surprising. The team drafted his successor in 2020 (Ben Bartch) and could have reduced Cann’s cap hit from $6.29 million to just $1.33 million in dead cap if they had chosen to exercise their opt-out as he enters the final year of his contract. Bartch played 220 snaps as a rookie but started just one game. He could push Cann for more playing time in 2021.
Brandon Linder has struggled to stay on the field at times over his seven-year career in Jacksonville. While playing in 16 games in 2019, he made only nine starts in both 2018 and 2020.
Tyler Shatley took snaps at both center and guard in 2020. He could be a useful utility option as an interior offensive lineman again this season. However, he is a relatively low-upside backup and should not really push for a starting role.