Jacksonvile Jaguars

Bortles vs Tampa Bay Evaluation.

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(Photo by the Associate Press)

By: James Johnson

As we all know, August 3  was the official kickoff to the NFL preseason starting off with the Hall of Fame game. The Jacksonville Jaguars however, took the field this past Friday night at Everbank Field against one of their in-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With anticipation high, the Jags answered the call taking the victory over the Bucs with a score of 10-16 as their defense showed great improvement from where they were a year ago…But make no mistake about it, the fans number one priority was to see the man that Dave Caldwell pulled the trigger on in the first round of this years draft to be the teams future franchise QB…. And that mans name is Blake Bortles, who had a rather impressive night in his first NFL game. Below we’ll take a look at his highlights of the night and break down the things he did well and the things he’ll need to improve on in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Jags 53 Man Roster Predictions By Zack.

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(Image by Jacksonville.com )

By: Zack Hochrien 

As of recently, a hot topic in the Jaguars hashtag of Twitter has been early roster predictions, and though I have yet to check out any of the links on Twitter with these projections, our own Zach Hochrein sent me his early roster projections and I must say…it’s a rather interesting write up. And yes, we’re are well aware we are months away from final cuts, but here at IES we like to keep things interesting. That said, enjoy. 

2014 Post Draft Depth Chart Predictions – Jacksonville Jaguars

Total number of active players: 53 with 1 projected to the PUP list.

QB
1. Chad Henne
2. Blake Bortles
3. Stephen Morris
RB
1. Toby Gerhart
2. Storm Johnson
3. Terrence Cobb

4. Denard Robinson
WR

1. Allen Robinson
2. Marqise Lee
3. Ace Sanders
4. Cecil Short III
5. Allen Hurns
6. Damian Copeland
7. Tandon Doss (Special Teams Ace)

TE
1. Marcedes Lewis
2. Clay Harbor
3. Marcel Jensen

OL
LT – Luke Joeckel
LG – Zane Beadles
C – Brandon Linder
RG – Tyler Shatley
RT – Austin Pasztor
OL Depth

Patrick Lewis, Jacques McClendon, Luke Bowanko and Cam Bradfield
LEO
1. Chris Clemons
2. Jason Babin
3. Andre Branch
4. Chris Smith
1T
1. DeAndre Coleman
2. Jordan Miller
3T
1. SenDerrick Marks
2. Ziggy Hood
5T
1. Red Bryant
2. Abry Jones
WILL (Weakside LB)

Dekoda Watson
MLB

Paul Posluszny
SAM (Strongide LB)

Geno Hayes
LB Depth

Telvin Smith, Spencer Shuey and Ryan Davis
CB 1

Alan Ball
CB 2

Dwayne Gratz
Nickel

Will Blackmon
FS

Winston Guy
SS

Jonathan Cyprien
DB Depth

Demetrius McCray, Craig Loston, Rashaad Reynolds, Jeremy Harris,
K

Josh Scobee
P

Bryan Anger

Notable PUP Players 

Aaron Colvin


 

I guess I’ll start with the QB’s as I believe both Henne and Bortles make the teams (shocker, right?). I highly doubt Morris does, though, being that teams don’t really keep 3 QB’s on their roster anymore . I think it’s more likely he’ll be on the practice squad when it’s all said and done.
I was also surprised to see that Zack had Shorts as the #4 WR on the roster. According to reports, the Jags have been interested in extending him and for what he’ll get paid, I can’t help but think he’ll be one of the top two wide-outs on the roster. Also, I don’t think Hurns and Copeland will both make the roster as one will likely go to the teams practice squad if the other makes it.
On the offensive line I was surprised to see Shatley starting at RG over Linder who was at center. I personally don’t think Linder has the strength to hold up against the nose tackles of the league and would prefer him at RG over C. As for Shatley, I do think he makes the roster as Zack does (possibly as a starter, but likely as a backup).

Now on the defensive end I noticed that Roy Miller wasn’t on the roster. To me he wasn’t exactly spectacular though he has battled through several injuries. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is cut during the teams final cuts before week 1 of the regular season, but due to the fact that the team would have to rely on an undrafted rookie in Deandre Coleman to man the middle the whole season, I think they will lean towards keeping Miller. It would likely take a very spectacular training camp for Coleman to win the starting NT job over Miller, though I do think he’ll make the roster as a backup. Unlike Zack, I also believe Tyson AluAlu will stick around. I feel as he’d compliment Red Bryant perfectly as the teams second five-technique as opposed to Abry Jones.

At the LEO position the depth chart is a little crowded to say the least. Chris Clemons was signed by the team, and they also brought back veteran pass-rusher Jason Babin. Below the both of them are Andre Branch, who most would say flashed a bit last season and a former undrafted DE in Ryan Davis. The team also recently added Arkansas DE Chris Smith through the 5th round of the draft this year, giving the position 5 players fighting for a spot. That said, I’d like to keep all 5 personally, but I think that maybe highly unlikely in the end. When it’s all said and done, I think the team may reluctantly pull the plug on Davis, who is the youngest and least experienced of the the veterans, to make a spot for Chris Smith. Zack, on the other hand believes Davis may be able to change positions to OLB, but I personally don’t know if that position fits his skill-set.

Aside from the positions above, I agree with Zack’s projections for the most part. In all likelihood, we could both be way off however as there is a lot of time for the roster to shape up. One thing that is for certain though, and that’s the fact that the Jags are going into this season’s training camp with a lot more experience and talent than last year, and that into consideration you can put some money on it that this will be the most interesting training camp we’ve seen in a while.

Feel free to give us your feedback and roster projections, and also stay tuned as we’ll have more of these projections to come in the next few months leading up into the season.

And as usual we appreciate the views. Feel free to follow Zach as he can be found on Twitter under the handle of @ZhochZeus.

A Look at the Jag Draft Class: Scouting Report/ Thoughts on the Selection of Blake Bortles.

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(Image by USA Today)

By: James Johnson 

The Jacksonville Jaguars sent shock-waves through the city and league as they drafted Blake Bortles with the #3 overall pick Thursday night in the 2014 NFL Draft.  The selection came as a surprise to most (including myself) as it was believed that the Jags were leaning towards taking Sammy Watkins,  Khalil Mack, or even another QB in former Heisman trophy recipient Johnny Manziel. But Dave Caldwell, being the wizard he is, thought otherwise and decided to pull the trigger on the nearby Oviedo Florida native. 

Tapes of choice to evaluate: Thanks to the good people at Draftbreakdown.com I’ve broken down roughly over 8 of Bortles’ games, but the tapes I choose to rewatch for the sake of this scouting report were the Louisville, Baylor, Penn State, and South Carolina tapes. They all can be found through the links below.

Louisville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTNvSHLhf9M

Baylor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4iDpPeoaKI

Penn State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6JLz-M9E8E

South Carolina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYd29xlmc04

 

What He Does Well/Pros

  • I want to start by saying an underrated part of his game is his abilities as a scrambler. He’s more than capable at it ,and I’d go as far as saying he’s a little better than Andrew Luck in terms of athleticism. Also worth noting is that he was a former LB in his early days of high school.
  • He has prototypical NFL size at 6-5, 232 lbs.
  • He steps up and moves well in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield. It appears he really has a good sense of what is going on around him.
  • He’s hard to bring down, and is much like Ben Roethlisberger when trying to sack.
  • He’s resilient in crunch time.  I can recall him bringing back UCF in a game winning drive vs Louisville in the first ever game I evaluated him in last year. He’s also brought his team back in many occasions from behind.
  • At times he’s shown the ability to throw in windows, but will be asked to do it more often in the league.
  • I like his ability to take advantage of unaware defenders. I’ve seen him throw some solid back shoulder throws and some jump balls over DB’s who have their backs turned.
  • He understands when to resort to a checkdown.
  • He’s an intelligent player with a high football I.Q. His father was (and may still be) a football coach so it’s fitting that Blake knows the game well and how to make a good impression with football personnel.
  • I think another aspect of his game that has gone unnoticed is that at times he’s shown the ability to operate his offense as a field general. I’ve often seen him communicate with his lineman and RB’s before snapping the ball.
  • He’s a leader and a competitor, which are two traits Gus Bradley was high on about him.
  • He’s proven to be coachable.
  • He has a high ceiling.

What can He Work On/Cons

  • His biggest flaw to me is that he stares defenders down at times. There’ve been multiple times when I’ve seen a defender follow Blake’s eyes on his target and, as a result, pick him off.
  • Some question his velocity/arm strength (which I think is fine, just not elite); most also feel that due to his velocity he’ll have to make quicker decisions in the league.
  • I believe his lower body mechanics are a big reason his velocity is questioned at times. I think that if he practiced consistently stepping into his throws that would improve the velocity on some of them. As Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation mentioned, Bortles seems to have recognized this problem seeing as he showed the ability to drive behind his throws at his pro day.
  • Another flaw that I goes back to his lower body mechanics is the fact that he takes false steps at times while dropping back.
  • He’s a bit careless with the ball in terms of fumbles.
  • Didn’t play against an elite level of competition for the most part.
  • His deep ball accuracy could use some work.
  • He often throws off his back foot while under pressure.
  • His throws have a bit of a wobble to them. He’ll need to work on tightening his spiral.
  • He needs to work on consistent ball placement as he doesn’t always hit his WR’s in stride.

 

So why Bortles? 

Well aside from the obvious answer of the Jags needing a franchise QB, there were a variety of reasons that the Jags drafted Bortles. I believe one of the biggest variables in their decision was the combine/interview process, which I had read that Bortles exceeded in. I remember reading Ryan O’Halloran saying that Bortles “Took over the room” when the Jags met him in Indianapolis for the combine. Gus also mentioned after Bortles was drafted that he liked Blake’s willingness to compete as he did everything at the combine, something very uncharacteristic in today’s QB’s when entering the combine. So for anyone that believes that throwing at the combine isn’t a big deal, well…. it can be. Looking at where Bortles was drafted over Manziel, and Bridgewater, I think it’s safe to say in this case it made a HUGE difference. The interview process for Bortles also pretty much solidified everything that Caldwell and Bradley needed to know in terms of whether they found the right man to potentially lead this franchise to the promise land.

Below is a video segment  I saw on NFL Network of Bortles being interviewed by Steve Mariucci during the combine process. He instantly struck me as a young man with sharp communication skills (which isn’t surprising because he’s a Communication major), and a high football IQ. Obviously, he was just as sharp while speaking to the Jags during the process, who got a lot more time with him than Mariucci.

Comparison

So I’d guess the next question is on who could this young man exactly become? Well, nothing is guaranteed of course, but I’d agree with those who have compared Bortles to a young version of Ben Roethlisberger. As I mentioned above, I also see shades of a slightly better version of Andrew Luck in terms of athleticism (NOT as a passer to be clear). Being that he has a ways to go in terms of mechanics, yet showcases solid arm strength when using proper mechanics, I’d say that he’s about on the same level Colin Kaepernick was coming out of Nevada in terms of a passer. Kaepernick, however, possessed a noticeably stronger arm.

Blake_Bortles_vs_Baylor_2014_F_650d3be2712490a75cd026126f2fcd61
(Like Big Ben as you can see it’s very hard to bring Bortles down. Yet, despite the pressure his eyes stay down field as he escapes multiple arm tackles to find his RB for a check down )

 

HD_Ben_Roethlisberger_Ultra_ey_3d07fca6a45cedfa613a1e27c1a2a6ac
(Big Ben to this day is known for his ability to shrug off tackles and make plays down field afterwards, much like we see in the play above)

 

NFL Outlook.

I think the x-factors in the equation to develop Bortles of course lie in his coaches, most notably Jags offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, as well as Jags QB coach Frank Scelfo, both of whom who have succeeded in recent times with coaching young talent. Fisch, recently worked as Miami University’s offensive coordinator before coming to Jacksonville, and aided Stephen Morris and company to become one of the better offenses that Miami has had in a long time, while Scelfo recently did his due diligence in developing Nick Foles back in the 2010-2011 season as Arizona University’s QB coach. Both also showcased their abilities to work with and develop young talent in their short time in Mobile Alabama for the Senior Bowl, as both Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo showed great strides throughout their week of practice under the Jags coordinators. So, needless to say, this is nothing new for either coach.

All that into consideration, it’s hard to say whether Bortles will start year one over six year veteran Chad Henne, as the Jags declared him the starter back when he resigned in free agency this season. Even after drafting Bortles, the team has been on record for basically saying they would ideally like Bortles to sit under Henne, but only time will tell if that will happen or not. I personally believe that Fisch and Scelfo have shown enough in developing young talent to make me believe that it’s quite possible they could have Bortles ready to start week one, but again, only time will tell. One thing is for certain, however, and that is the fact that the QB battle between Henne and Bortles will certainly be the most watched competition this summer at Jags training camp, as well as one of the most watched in the league.

And the Verdict on This Pick…

Even my initial reaction at the time the pick was was to give it a B +. Why? Because at the time, I felt that the Jags “reached” for Bortles here and quite possibly could have traded down for Bortles. I also personally had one QB in Teddy Bridgewater graded higher than Bortles. However, reports surfaced that Dave Caldwell felt that the Jaguars couldn’t have been the only other team with Bortles as their #1 rated QB, and that after round 1 he asked a couple other organizations in the top 10 if they had him graded the same. Well….low and behold, some did. That said, a trade back could’ve had dire repercussions….. and that was the possibility of Caldwell losing the QB/prospect he had as the #1 overall prospect on his board for months.  Jacksonville’s own Pete Prisco of CBS Sports even confirmed these reports himself.

All that into consideration, I bumped my initial grade up to an A – for the selection of Bortles. I must give Dave Caldwell credit here for believing in his board and not passing up the opportunity to get a potential franchise QB that he felt strongly about. Now it’s all just a matter of developing him with the staff that both he and Gus Bradley put in place  to work with young players like Bortles. And if Bortles himself does what he’s done throughout his collegiate career  (and that’s develop over time), Dave Caldwell and company just might’ve struck gold with this pick.

So what do you guys think? Feel free to share your draft thoughts and questions with me on Twitter under the handle of @IES_Don, and as always we appreciate your views. 

Also, stay tuned as my next article will be an in-depth scouting report on the Jags first second round pick Marqise Lee. 

Breaking Down the Alex Mack Situation From a Browns Fans P.O.V.

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(Image From Cleveland.com)

By: Shane Mink 

This past Wednesday, April 9th, rumors came out about Alex Mack signing an offer sheet with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The total numbers and structure of this contract are unknown, but there are indeed some rumors out there about it.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported that Mack was signing an offer sheet. He reported that the deal would be 5 years. Later others came out with contract details. There have been a few different rumors, but by far the most circulated one has the Jaguars giving Mack $20 million guaranteed in the first two years and $7 million the next year. There have also been reports that there is an opt out clause, which would allow Mack to leave the team he ultimately signs with.

Early Thursday morning Adam Schefter reported that the Browns are planning to quickly sign the offer sheet made by Jacksonville. Is this the right move?

If they did sign the offer sheet at the reported prices, they would be putting over $20 million in cap on just two offensive lineman next season. That would have an affect on contract negotiations with arguably more important players such as Joe Haden and Josh Gordon in the future.

If they decided not to sign the offer sheet, they will be going into the draft with a great need on the offensive line. The Browns already need to add an RG and RT to replace Shawn Lauvao (signed with the Redskins) and Mitchell Schwartz (not a scheme fit). Whoever the Browns name as the teams starting QB would probably begin next year with three rookies protecting him. That is not the ideal situation.

Should they make this move? There have been reports flying around all offseason that Alex Mack does not want to be a Cleveland Brown any more. There was also a report out there that the Browns told Mack after they tagged him that if he wanted to leave, they would not try to stop him. If they match the offer, they must be confident that Mack is willing to return.

Cap space-wise this deal is easy for Cleveland. With the most cap space in the league, unless the Jaguars structure their offer very oddly, the Browns will be able to match with cap to spare.

It would be rather awkward to sign Mack after he wanted out, but ultimately it is the best thing to do. The cap space may have an affect on signing other key players, but not dismantling the offensive line is very important right now if you ask me, especially if the Browns decide to draft and start and rookie at QB.

Update: Per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the offer sheet that the Jags will send to Mack Friday is a 5 year deal worth $42 million, $18 million of which will be payed to him in the first 2 years. Mack will also have the option to opt out after year two if he’d like and the deal also has a stipulation where he can’t be tagged after year two as well.

Update:  Looks as if the Jags gave the Browns a lot to think about as they were almost sure to match the deal, but are now having second thoughts.

Dating from Friday the Browns would have until Wednesday to match the offer sheet.

Update: As you all likely know by now the Browns matched the Jags offer and the figures on Mack’s end are as followed.

http://overthecap.com/cap.php?Name=Alex%20Mack&Position=C&Team=Browns

For more on this situation as it unfolds please feel free to follow Shane under the handle Twitter of @ShaneMink, myself under @IES_Don, and NFL insider Ian Rapoport under @Rapsheet . Shane will also have more updates and posts on the matter as the situation unfolds. 

Nick Trist’s Mock Draft 1.0 (Picks 1-16)

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(GERRY MELENDEZ of Gogamecocks.com)

By: Nick Trist

Our newest contributor Nick has been working hard in the lab, and has yet another piece to add to our IES Draft database. Here he begins the first half of the first full 2014 NFL mock draft to be posted on IES this year. I gotta tell you guys I like it, and I’m sure you all will too. So without further speaking here it is. 

1. Houston Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina – 2013’s woeful season was most likely a blessing in disguise for the Texans and its fan base. There is a very solid and talented foundation in Houston, but since they bottomed out they put themselves in the best position possible for April’s Draft. The need for an upgrade at the QB position is obvious for Houston, so not projecting a QB with this pick seems impractical. However, I believe (and at this point I think HOU does too) that Clowney is too solid of a prospect at a highly coveted position for Houston to pass on at #1 overall. Pairing Clowney with the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt will give the Texans one of the league’s most feared pass-rush for the next 10+ years. In my eyes Clowney is as can’t miss as NFL prospects get. The concerns about his motor are invalid to me for one simple reason: If someone told you “Hey 8 months from now, all you have to do is be alive and not injured, and you’ll be a multi-millionaire” would you give 100% in games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt? The Texans would be smart to grab they best-overall player available, and possibly address QB with the 33rd overall selection.
2. St. Louis (from Washington) Gregg Robinson – OT – Auburn – Yikes! It’s starting to look like Jeff Fisher definitely got the better of last year’s RGIII trade. Depending what they do with this pick, that trade could start to look like highway-robbery. Robinson has seen his stock soar since Auburn’s heartbreaking BCS Championship Game loss. At 6’5 ½ 320lbs. He possesses prototypical OT size, but what has shot his name up NFL Draft boards is the athleticism that accompanies his massive frame. He has tremendous footwork, and plays with terrific pad-level. He would be a Week 1 starter at RT for St. Louis.
(Image by USATSI)

3. Jacksonville

Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville

Gus Bradley and the Jags would probably be ecstatic to see this year’s consensus #1 QB fall in their lap. Jacksonville has as many holes to fill as anyone in the NFL, but is also in dire need of help at the QB position. I have my doubts about how Bridgewater translates to the pro game, but Jacksonville desperately needs to rejuvenate their fan base and taking Bridgewater here would be a nice jump-start to that process.

4. Cleveland Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M – Manziel is unquestionably my favorite QB in this year’s class. I think he will be a star in this league for a long time. That is why it pains me greatly to project him here, because as we all know, God hates Cleveland. Their consistent futility would be the only thing I could foresee as a stumbling block for Johnny Pro-Football. That said, I think Manziel would be a great fit for the Browns considering what Josh Gordon was able to accomplish with a revolving door of pitiful QBs this season, and because they have solid O-line play which I feel is a critical aspect to Manziel’s success.
5. Oakland Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson – Here is another example of a projection I’ve hesitated to make because of what it would mean for the player’s career. Watkins is this year’s premier playmaker and possesses All-Pro type talent. Football fans everywhere could really miss out on how special a player Watkins is, if he lands in Oakland and the Raiders continue to be umm well the Raiders. If Watkins is on the board, and no team blows Oakland away with a trade offer, there is no way Watkins slips past this pick. We can only hope it doesn’t amount to the kiss-of-death for Sammy.
6. Atlanta Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M – It was a very disappointing season for the Atlanta Falcons following a year in which they were a few plays away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Atlanta is as talented at the skill positions as any team in the NFL but they must get better at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. UCLA’s Anthony Barr could be in play here for the Falcons, but if they adhere to the “best player available” strategy then I think they will go with Matthews to help sure-up what was one of the league’s most suspect offensive lines. Matthews is a plug-and-play type of player whom would be welcomed with open arms by Matty Ice and Steven Jackson.
7. Tampa Bay Anthony Barr – OLB/DE – UCLA – With Lovie Smith now at the helm, I’d expect Tampa to look to improve the defensive side of the ball in round 1. Barr is an explosive and versatile athlete who could really improve the Bucs’ pass rush. What I like most about Barr’s game is that he showed consistent improvement during his time at UCLA, and that he’s a high football-IQ guy with a really good feel for the game.
8. Minnesota Blake Bortles – QB – UCF – The Vikings will most likely put a much-needed end to the Christian Ponder era this offseason. Bortles definitely has the build to be successful at the next level, has above-average arm strength, showed a decent ability at reading coverage’s and making good decisions with the football. There are questions about the level of the competition he faced during his college career, but many weak conference QBs have been successful in the NFL. I think #8 is a more appropriate landing spot for Bortles than in the top 5, which is where some people are projecting he’ll go.
9. Buffalo Khalil Mack – OLB – Buffalo – The possibility of the Bills adding a playmaking WR to help out E.J. Manuel is for sure in play with this pick. There is good WR depth in this class however, so I think the Bills will attempt to add another impact rookie linebacker and hope they find lightening in a bottle like they did with last year’s selection of Kiko Alonso. Mack has the athleticism to be an impact player, capable of boosting his team’s run defense  and being useful in coverage against TEs and HBs.
(Yahoo Sports)

10. Detroit Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M

When you think about the type of production we’ve seen from Calvin Johnson’s career, one can only wonder what those numbers would be if Johnson had a legitimate #2 WR to help ease the coverage he faces each week. Mike Evans would be a great addition to an already stellar passing attack for the Lions. Though Detroit has other, possibly more pressing, holes in their roster I think the opportunity to pair another freakish athlete alongside Calvin Johnson will be too much to turn down. Evans is outstanding at going up and making plays when the ball is in the air and could be very useful to Matthew Stafford in the red-zone especially considering the attention Johnson draws in that area of the field. My main concern for Evans’ NFL is how he adjusts to the bigger, more physical CBs he’ll face. In the SEC Evans was able to out-physical and out-muscle nearly every corner he faced, that will not be the case in the NFL.

11. Tennessee C.J. Mosley – ILB – Alabama – C.J. Mosley reminds me a lot of former Titan great Keith Bullock so, to me, Tennessee seems like a natural fit for this Nick Saban product. Mosley is a guy with a wealth of experience in big-time environments. Drafting a player from Alabama generally means that a team will know they are getting a guy who is as well-prepared as any for the next level. Mosley could be a week 1 starter for the Titans and will significantly help there below-average run defense.
12. NY Giants Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State – The NY Giants gave up way too many big plays in the passing game last season. Justin Gilbert is the best candidate in this year’s class for helping the Giants solve those coverage issues. Gilbert has great size, good speed, and a knack for making big plays. He would fit nicely into the Giants defensive scheme, because he excels at press-man coverage.
13. St. Louis Marqise Lee – WR – Southern California – Being the 3rd receiver taken and 13th overall player taken may be a bit of a disappointment for Marqise Lee, considering the expectations he began the year with for the Trojans. An injury-plagued year, coaching turmoil, an inexperienced QB, as well as the evolution of Watkins and Evans, have all played a factor in Lee’s draft stock taking a slide. He would be a good fit for the Rams to pair along with last year’s 1st rounder, Tavon Austin. Lee has good quickness, but isn’t a guy who relies on pure speed to beat defenders. Lee’s strongest attribute is sure-handedness. Austin and Lee’s games would complement one another’s nicely, and would equate to Sam Bradford being out of excuses and starring down a put-up or shut-up season.
14. Chicago Timmy Jernigan – DT – Florida State – This would fill arguably the biggest need for the Bears (DT). Jernigan is my highest rated DT in this class, and at #14 it is always a value-pick if you can get the best available help for your defensive line.
15. Pittsburgh Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan – The Steelers could go a long way towards solving the O-line instability that has plagued the franchise for the past few seasons. Lewan has a very impressive collection of game-film. He also possesses a “mean-streak” so many offensive-line coaches look for when evaluating talent. Lewan will need to improve his effectiveness in the running game, if he wants to reach his full NFL potential.
(Bob Donnan USA Today)
(Bob Donnan USA Today)

16. Baltimore

Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Florida State

Benjamin is a physical specimen, who has un-teachable natural athleticism. I’m looking for the Ravens to add a playmaker to help out an offense that struggled to connect on big-plays this season. Benjamin could open up the field for Torrey Smith, and could develop into a match-up nightmare in Baltimore.

As always, we enjoy the reads and feedback. We also look forward to hearing your opinions via the comment section below. Also, feel free to give Nick your feedback and follow him via Twitter as you can find him under the handle of @Nickrawtrist 

Gridiron Season Episode 11: Jags Talks With Odom and 49ers Talk With Ryan.

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tempNFL-LONDON-160712--nfl_mezz_1280_1024
(No Rights Disclaimer: Image from Jaguars.com)

By: James Johnson (@IES_Don)

After having the week off, Gridiron Season returned and was back in full effect. This week I recapped the Jaguars and Chargers games with our very own Jonathan Odom who was in attendance at Sunday’s game. We talked on multiple subjects in the process like Chad Henne’s performance so far, the promise the Jags WR core has shown, the futures of both MJD and Marcedes Lewis, along with more. It’s a must listen for those of you who have been interested in hearing the voices behind the IES team besides myself, Eric, and Phil.

Next, I went into talks with Ryan Sakamoto of Ninerfans.com on his team in the San Francisco  49ers. We talked on their offensive stars in Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and Vernon Davis, as well as their stars on defense in Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis. Ryan also gave us his take on the competitive NFC West, his predictions on who the 49ers could face in the Super Bowl and more! Check it out as he joined me at the 31:42 mark, up until the 60:00 mark in the podcast!

Special thanks to both Jonathan and Ryan for joining me this week, and look for us to work with them in the future on IES Radio!

Read the rest of this entry »

Over 19,000 fans attend the Jaguars scrimmage game!

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Image by www.jaguars.com
Image by http://www.jaguars.com

By: Eric Serna

As much as I did and didn’t see in the scrimmage game for the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 3rd, there was one glaring thing I missed: Just exactly how many fans came out to a SCRIMMAGE GAME! It was estimated close to 19,000 fans attended the event, and buzz on Twitter proved the Jaguars were one of the highest on the list of fans attending the game this year out of all 32 teams. This was on a night where the Jacksonville Sharks were offering a great deal for their scheduled AFL playoff game, and the Jacksonville Suns also had a game for fans to attend. But despite that, a huge amount of fans came to cheer on their Jaguars in what was a very basic scrimmage. There were some moments of course, good, bad, and ugly. And luckily enough we were close to the action. James Johnson (@J_1010xl), our buddy Phil Smith (@PhiltheFilipino) and myself (@EricAlmighty1) were sitting close in section 133 of the stadium. Gage D’Acunto (@gdacunto) was getting the view from section 138 and then from one of the suites (because that is how he rolls). I saw there was a big turnout, but I never would have guessed even too much over 10,000 fans had shown up. The Jacksonville Jaguars have got it’s fans behind them it seems for sure. Now it is the teams turn to show it wasn’t for nothing, and win some games this year. So without further delay, some of our thoughts from all of us on what we thought! (We got to see a lot, the picture below is our seats in section 133).

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