JACKSONVILLE – Preliminarily speaking, David Caldwell likes what he has seen.
The Jaguars held their final practice of 2013 minicamp Thursday, marking the end of the veteran portion of the offseason. Caldwell, the Jaguars' first-year general manager, said with a young roster beginning a building process, there remains much to be determined in training camp and preseason.
But he also said the Jaguars made strides during 2013 organized team activities and minicamps.
And with the veterans now off until training camp begins July 26, Caldwell said there has been a lot to like about what the Jaguars showed during the last five weeks.
"You get a good idea in terms of a guy's competiveness and his conditioning and take it onto the field," Caldwell said Thursday after the last of three 2013 minicamps at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.
"Those are key components we're looking for now. When we get to training camp, it will be another part of the process and we have preseason games. It's going to be a constant evaluation for all 90 guys."
Caldwell also said Thursday he isn't against taking five quarterbacks into training camp. With the signing of veteran Mike Kafka (photo gallery) on Wednesday, the Jaguars' 90-man roster now has five quarterbacks, including veterans Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne and rookie free agents Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers.
"We're not opposed to it," Caldwell said. "It's a valuable position."
Caldwell said the quarterback competition – including the recently-signed Kafka and the rookies – will be as open as possible entering training camp; something he said is true throughout the roster.
"With Coach Bradley and his staff, from the get-go, our central theme is competition," Caldwell said. "Nothing is set. All starting positions on offense, defense – if they're coming to training camp, they're going to have a chance to make their case to be a starter."
The starting lineup in Thursday's open practice included Gabbert at quarterback, with Justin Forsett at running back and an offensive line of right tackle Luke Joeckel (photo gallery), left tackle Eugene Monroe, left guard Will Rackley, right guard Uche Nwaneri and center Brad Meester. Marcedes Lewis started at tight end and Will Ta'ufo'ou was at fullback. Projected starters Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon didn't practice full Thursday.
Defensively, cornerbacks Alan Ball and Dwayne Gratz worked with the starters along with safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Dwight Lowery and linebackers Paul Posluszny, Geno Hayes and Russell Allen. Tyson Alualu worked at defensive end opposite Andre Branch with Sen'Derrick Marks and Brandon Deaderick inside. The Jaguars are expected to rotate tackles heavily.
"There's a lot more competition to be had with preseason, training camp and padded practices," Caldwell said. "I expect some movement. I don't know where, or at what positions, but everybody's going to have an ample opportunity to lay claim to those positions."
*He likes third-year veteran Cameron Bradfield as a backup at the tackle positions behind Joeckel and Monroe. "We feel he's a very capable third, swing guy who can play both the left and right side," Caldwell said. "We actually feel like we're OK there. That third tackle, that's hard to find. It's hard to find starting tackles, let alone a quality backup. We feel pretty good with Cam there."
*Roster moves are possible during training camp and preseason. The team will have the No. 2 waiver-claim spot through Week 3 of the regular season.
*He expects to have all eight draft selections signed before training camp. The team currently has signed cornerbacks Demetrius McCray and cornerback Jeremy Harris, the Jaguars' two seventh-round selections. "There's really no rush," Caldwell said. "We'll get it done. We're very close on all of them."
*The Jaguars' plan is for running back Maurice Jones-Drew to be participating 100 percent when training camp opens July 26. "That's the plan," Caldwell said. "We'll see where that goes, where he's at when we come back." Jones-Drew has spent the offseason rehabilitating a foot injury that kept him out the last 10 games last season. "I'm not concerned about the rust factor," Caldwell said. "He has played a lot of football in his career. I think he'll be just fine if he comes back healthy and in shape."
*Caldwell said he was impressed this offseason by wide receiver Mike Brown, a first-year veteran who spent much of last season on the team's practice squad, and also said the Jaguars will "find a way to get the ball" in the hands of rookie running back Denard Robinson. "I believe in getting the ball in our playmakers' hands," Caldwell said.
*He expects the Jaguars to make up for the absence of Blackmon early in the season "by committee." Blackmon will serve a four-game suspension to start the season. Caldwell mentioned rookie Ace Sanders, Mike Brown and veteran Mohamed Massaquoi. "It's going to be a committee, and you guys have seen Cecil," Caldwell said of third-year veteran Shorts. "Cecil has taken a step in the right direction to being a very good starter in this league."