1.Standing out. No way was Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley going to let a season-ending injury to Dante Fowler Jr. be the lone takeaway from 2015 rookie minicamp. So, when wrapping up the two-day session Saturday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields the focus wasn't on the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft but several rookies who stood out. Most notable: running back T.J. Yeldon, who stood out Friday. He shined again Saturday, breaking a long run over the left side on the first play of team drills and showing the quick feet and quick moves while in the hole that made him the No. 36 overall selection last week. "He did a nice job on some of the runs that he had," Bradley said, adding that seventh-round wide receiver Neal Sterling, fifth-round wide receiver Rashad Greene and fourth-round safety James Sample also performed well. "Sample is a guy I really noticed today as far as picking things up real quick and some of the movement skills that we're looking for," Bradley said, adding that while third-round guard A.J. Cann "did a nice job," it's difficult to gauge the position until the team practices in pads in training camp.
2.Successful weekend.The Jaguars often sign rookie minicamp "tryout" players to the 90-man offseason roster, and Bradley said Saturday that could be the case this season, too. "We've got a list of guys in case we have something that they have a chance to step up," Bradley said. "We've got a good evaluation of them and we will see what happens as far as the next couple of days for them. We are really pleased."
Images from the second day of the Jaguars rookie minicamp.
3."Tail lights" about more than straight speed.Running back Corey Grant, an undrafted free agent signing from Auburn University, impressed scouts at Auburn's Pro Day by running the 40 in under 4.3 seconds, according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock. Grant said he wants to prove he is more than just a sprinter. "When I was at Auburn I wasn't really given a chance to run between the tackles," Grant said after Friday's practice. "I was always given a speed sweep or a quick pass, so I have it (ability to run between tackles), it's just I haven't shown it enough for people to realize it." Grant could also compete as a kickoff returner. He returned 18 kickoffs for 403 yards (22.4 average) at Auburn career, including a 90-yard return for a touchdown at Tennessee in 2013 that earned him the nickname "tail lights" from Auburn radio broadcaster Rod Bramblett. …
4.Best Available.Rookie guard A.J. Cann is a great example of taking the best available in the draft. The Jaguars didn't need a guard; they paid Zane Beadles last season and the addition of center Stefen Wisniewski meant they can create competition with Luke Bowanko. Cann's slight slide into the third round provided Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell the chance to improve a good situation. Cann is a power player, and even though you can't truly evaluate the big guys until the pads come on, that power and his ability to "channel it" is clear. "I'm ready to compete," Cann said after practice on Friday. "My game is built on driving guys off the line of scrimmage. I did that at South Carolina and I can do it here." The Jaguars drafted right guard Brandon Linder in Round 3 last spring and plugged him in Week 1 in Philadelphia. They won't have to do the same with Cann but it appears he has the skill set to make the same leap from college football to the NFL that Linder did a year ago. Who doesn't need a starting-caliber offensive lineman in the third round, even if he is waiting and watching when his rookie season begins?
5.Sample in the playbook.Fourth-round selection James Sample, a safety from Louisville, is using a familiar approach to get acclimated to rookie minicamp weekend. "I'm in the classroom a lot," Sample said before Saturday's final practice of rookie minicamp. "We have some long meetings to go over the mistakes we made yesterday." Sample transferred to Louisville for his final college season and had limited time to learn the defense before moving into a starting strong safety role for the Cardinals. "I like that part of it, because it helped me a lot back at Louisville, so I'm taking the same approach here," he said. Sample is expected to compete for the Jaguars' free safety position during the offseason.
6.First-year mentality: The Jaguars used a mix of draft picks, rookie free agent signings and tryout invite players throughout the rookie minicamp. By rule, the Jaguars also were allowed to use nine first-year players, who spent last season on a practice squad or did not play in a regular-season game. "(I'm here) to show the coaches how much I've improved since last year," said Tony Washington, the Appalachian State product who spent last season on the Jaguars' practice squad. With so much competition and youth among Jaguars wide receivers, Washington knows any chance to prove himself is valuable. "Everyone (in the wide receiver room) is young, everyone has proven they can play," he said. "You've just got to go out there every day and work hard."