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Matt Jones Has Inside Track on a Roster Spot

Jones

I did find it interesting that he was clean shaven and appeared to have gotten a hair cut. Clearly, he’s trying to put his best foot forward.

Jones’ trial date is set for October 10, but I think its likely that the case will never go to trial. I’m expecting some kind of a plea bargain before then.

The sooner this is resolved, the sooner Jones can focus on keeping a roster spot. Here’s how I see the wide receiver competition at this point.

Jerry Porter will be on the roster. The question is when will he be on the field? Porter told me a couple of weeks ago that he was expecting to get into at least one, if not two preseason games. If he’s still on that path, he could play a week from Saturday, but nothing is set in stone.

Reggie Williams will be on the roster. Williams had some clean up work on his knee and is expected back within the next couple of weeks.

Mike Walker is almost a sure fire bet. Before Saturday’s preseason opener, he would have been a lock, but he dropped a couple of catchable passes, something we hadn’t seen in practice. Maybe it was just nerves since he was playing in his first game in almost two years. I don’t expect the drops to continue, but if they do, things could change. If I were a betting man, I would say that the drops on Saturday will be long forgotten by the regular season.

Dennis Northcutt should be on the roster. The veteran isn’t spectacular, but you know what you are going to get out of him, and with so many questions at the position right now, Jack Del Rio will like a little certainty.

Then, things get touchy.

If Jones’ legal issues play out as I expect, he likely won’t face any suspension from the league (although he would be in the NFL’s substance abuse program). It’s his improved play in camp that has put him in a better light. Odds on making the final roster: 4:1 for.

Troy Williamson has disappeared. An injury has sidelined him for the past week or so. His start in Jaguars camp was very good. He made every catch. Then he started to stumble a bit. He’ll need to make some plays in the final three weeks of the pre-season to ensure a spot on the roster. Perhaps no Jaguars receiver has a bigger span of potential impact and disappointment than Williamson. Odds on making the final roster: 8:3 for.

John Broussard looks like he’s falling behind as well. Earlier in camp, Broussard held one of the worst press conferences I have ever been a part of. He said nothing of consequence and looked annoyed throughout. Hey, look, if you don’t want to talk to the media, don’t talk to the media. That aside, Broussard hasn’t been getting much of a look with the first or second teams. That doesn’t bode well for him. He made that big play last year on a touchdown pass from David Garrard against Tennessee in the season opener, but really didn’t impact the team after that. He was on the shelf for most of the last half of the season. I’m told that Broussard is a very hard worker, but I’m waiting to see him take the next step. Odds on making the final roster: 3:1 against.

DeJuan Woods was an OTA star. Maybe we’ve learned to not make too much of that. He runs good routes, but I’ve seen a few too many drops recently to justify his lack of deep speed. Odds on making the final roster: 5:2 against.

Ryan Hoag was on The Bachelorette. So he’s got that going for him. He’s one of these guys who looks like he can play the game, but I’m not sure of his long term chances. Maybe he can make the roster if he suddenly becomes a special teams guy. He was also once Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft and is the second most famous alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College that I know of, behind Steve Zahn, who I loved as the guitarist in That Thing You Do.

By the way, I also think that Steve Zahn looks like Peter Scolari found the fountain of youth. Just sayin’.

Hoag’s odds of making the final roster: 10:1 against.

Jaron Harvey, the Jacksonville native, has good size at 6-5, 224 pounds and looks an awful lot like Ernest Wilford. If he played like Wilford, he would stand a much better chance of making the squad. Still, his size is intriguing. Maybe he’s a practice squad candidate. Odds: 11:1 (but better for the practice squad).

Clyde Edwards’ best cast is that he has, at times, reminded me of Troy Edwards, who also wore number 16 for the Jaguars. Then again, maybe that’s not such a good thing. Sorry, Clyde. Odds: 20:1.

So as it stands right now, I would say that Matt Jones will make the team. Then again, we have a long way to go until the final cuts.


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