It was just mini-camp so everything the Jaguars brass thinks and says has to be guarded. The first weekend in May is certainly not a time to begin making bold statements or proclamations.
If it was the right time for that, however, this is what the Jaguars might be saying:
Nothing about the performance of third-round cornerback Derek Cox should make the Jaguars regret, at this point, having traded away a second-round pick next year to pick Cox this year. Cox capped a solid weekend with a lights-out effort on Sunday morning. He ripped a pass out of the hands of wide receiver Mike Walker and then closed on a pass to the sideline to reach Walker before he could turn upfield. Of all the rookies on defense, Cox was the standout player. * Seventh-round running back Rashad Jennings was that player on offense. Jennings flashed speed, quickness and pass-catching ability you usually don't see in a player his size. He also displayed an element of poise and comfort you don't often see in a player from a lower-division school in his rookie mini-camp. Jennings was sensational. He especially caught everyone's attention on Sunday morning with a darting run up the middle that froze defenders. *
"Normally there's a player or two that make you say maybe we didn't evaluate him properly. We don't have that guy you don't want to have. That's encouraging," coach Jack Del Rio said.
- Second-round pick Eben Britton battled through a hamstring injury and more than held his own. First-rounder Eugene Monroe is obviously an immediate plug-in at left tackle and Britton could play guard early because Vince Manuwai has a long way to go in his rehab from ACL surgery. The gap Manuwai has to close was noticeable as Manuwai ran sprints off to the side as the team practiced.
Sixth-round tight end Zach Miller flashed his pass-catching and run-after-the-catch ability on Sunday morning when he caught a high pass and outran the defender. Miller is another low-profile player in a draft class that features picks from Temple, William and Mary and Nebraska-Omaha. * Five of the Jaguars' nine draft picks are from northeast area scout Chris Prescott's region, which begged the question, so how do you like your draft class? "It feels good," Prescott said, "but the value on the board just happened to fall my way. The northeast is usually not a strong area. We were able to get guys I feel comfortable with character-wise." Those guys are Monroe from Virginia, Temple defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, Cox from William and Mary, Jennings from Liberty and Rutgers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, whose speed and grace were obvious over the weekend. The Big East and ACC are considered to be a cut below the SEC, Big 12, PAC-10 and Big Ten, but the Big East and ACC had a lot of players picked in this year's draft. The SEC led all conferences with 37 draft picks. The ACC had 33 and the Big East had 27. Prescott said the talent difference between the power conferences and the Big East and ACC is "not as big as people think." *