Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars conclude undefeated preseason: Let’s make the cut to 53

todayAugust 26, 2023


By Hays Carlyon

Hooray, the preseason is over.

The Jaguars made it out of the finale without any substantial injuries in a 31-18 win over Miami on Saturday night at EverBank Stadium.

The offense found its rhythm immediately, putting together two impressive drives with the starters. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence helped lead the offense to 12 first downs on their first two possessions.

You’ve got a problem, Indianapolis.

And Houston.

And Tennessee.

Now, comes the hard part: cutting the roster down from 90 players to the 53-man roster by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

The Jaguars will actually hold on to 55 players. Left tackle Cam Robinson is serving a four-game suspension, while defensive end Dawuane Smoot is on the Physically Unable to Perform list with an Achilles injury and will miss at least the first four games.

Let’s project what the roster will look like when the Jaguars start the season Sept. 10 at Indianapolis.

We’re keeping 25 on offense, 25 on defense and three specialists.


Quarterbacks (2)

Who: Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard.

Notable cut: Nathan Rourke.

The buzz: Lawrence looks phenomenal. The Jaguars are set here with emerging star Lawrence and a crafty veteran backing him up in Beathard. Rourke wasn’t consistent enough in camp to really push Beathard, despite a couple wow plays in the preseason. He should pass through waivers and end up on the practice squad.

Running backs (4)

Who: Travis Etienne, Tank Bigsby, D’Ernest Johnson and JaMycal Hasty.

Notable cuts: Snoop Conner and Derek Parish.

The buzz: This is a great group. Etienne is coming off a 1,400-yard season of total offense. Bigsby has looked outstanding. Johnson has been impressive and Hasty is reliable. Conner never found his footing here after being a fifth-round pick last year. The fullback experiment with Parish (a seventh-round rookie) never went anywhere.

Wide receivers (6)

Who: Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Jamal Agnew, Tim Jones and Parker Washington.

Notable cuts: Jacob Harris and Elijah Cooks.

The buzz: Ridley was the MVP of camp. Kirk and Jones have been good as always. This trio could be special this season. Agnew continues to be a threat. Jones makes the team for his special teams value, while Washington is a back-up returner who will be further developed as a receiver for 2024.

Tight ends (4)

Who: Evan Engram, Brenton Strange, Luke Farrell and Gerritt Prince.

Notable cut: Josh Pederson.

The buzz: Engram didn’t miss the offseason program at all, showing up to camp with a new deal and looking fantastic. Strange has shown promising signs as an all-around player. Farrell is solid, while Prince provides good receiving depth.

Offensive line (9)

Who: Walker Little, Ben Bartch, Luke Fortner, Brandon Scherff, Anton Harrison, Blake Hance, Tyler Shatley, Chandler Brewer and Cooper Hodges.

Suspended: Cam Robinson (four games).

Notable cut: Josh Wells (waived/injured).

The buzz: The offensive line has been in flux all camp because of Robinson’s suspension followed by a multitude of injuries. Hodges, a former Baker County standout, was fantastic for a seventh-round rookie prior to suffering a knee injury. My guess is the Jaguars put him on the initial 53-man roster and then put him on short-term injured reserve. That could bring Coy Cronk back to the active roster.


Defensive line (7)

Who: Roy Robertson-Harris, DaVon Hamilton, Foley Fatukasi, Tyler Lacy, Adam Gotsis, Jeremiah Ledbetter and Raymond Vohasek.

The buzz: The health of Hamilton (back) and Fatukasi (foot) are uncertain for the season opener, so this is really fluid. An eighth linemen might be needed. I think Vohasek showed enough as a seventh-round pick to be kept on the 53.

Outside linebacker (4)

Who: Travon Walker, Josh Allen, K’Lavon Chaisson and Yasir Abdullah.

PUP: Dawuane Smoot.

Notable cut: Jordan Smith.

The buzz: The depth here is a real issue. The Jaguars elected not to add a veteran as camp progressed and it became clear there was a problem. Hopefully, Walker and Allen have big years and are ready to play a whole lot of snaps. Smith never seemed to get going. The hope is Smoot is able to return in Week 5.

Inside linebacker (5)

Who: Foye Oluokun, Devin Lloyd, Chad Muma, Ventrell Miller and Caleb Johnson.

Notable cut: Shaq Quarterman.

The buzz: Lloyd appears primed for a second-year breakthrough. Miller, a fourth-round rookie, has looked good when he’s been available and pushes Quarterman out. Miller did leave Saturday’s game with a foot injury, so that could change things. Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell called Johnson one of his four-core special teams players this week.

Cornerbacks (5)

Who: Tyson Campbell, Darious Williams, Tre Herndon, Gregory Junior and Christian Braswell.

Notable cuts: Chris Claybrooks and Montaric Brown.

The buzz: Campbell is a star in the making. Junior has been a pleasant surprise throughout camp and the preseason. He will eventually unseat Herndon as the nickel. Braswell, a sixth-round rookie, gets the nod over Brown and Claybrooks.

Safeties (4)

Who: Rayshawn Jenkins, Andre Cisco, Andrew Wingard and Antonio Johnson.

Notable cuts: Erick Hallett and Daniel Thomas.

The buzz: Jenkins and Cisco are an exciting pair. Johnson looked encouraging prior to a hamstring injury, which will could keep him out of the opener. That could certainly open the door for Hallett or Thomas.

Specialists (3)

Who: Brandon McManus (kicker), Logan Cooke (punter) and Ross Matiscik (long snapper).

The buzz: The combination of McManus and Cooke might be elite. The only mystery here is the health of Matiscik, who suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason opener.


This is a difficult 53 to cut. This is by far the most challenging cut I’ve seen in 11 years covering the team.

Nagging injuries are going to greatly shape this initial roster.

The good news is the Jaguars have quality depth at many spots.

The depth at outside linebacker and the nickel spot remain concerns, but this team is stacked.

Offensively, the Jaguars look sensational.

The Jaguars keep 10 of the 13 players they drafted this year in this model.

(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

Written by: Hays Carlyon

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