JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The first week of the Jacksonville Jaguars' organized team activities is finished. Though there were only three workouts, several things stood out. Here are five observations:
It's no secret that Denard Robinson had a hard time catching and holding onto the football during his rookie season, but the former Michigan quarterback had a great first week. He did not drop a single pass. Didn't even bobble one, either. If he continues to show improvement in that area, as well as becoming a better blocker, Robinson will have a chance to move up the running back depth chart and get significant playing time in 2014.
With Josh Evans out after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur, Winston Guy is getting more reps at free safety. The two rotated at that spot in the latter part of the 2013 season after Evans started to struggle. Guy, whom the team claimed on waivers in September after he was cut by Seattle, made two starts in December and has apparently kept that momentum in the offseason. Evans is expected back for training camp but it would seem Guy has the lead in their battle to be the starter.
Several defensive players told me they're really impressed with rookie linebacker Telvin Smith, especially with how well he runs. He's not that big (6-foot-3, 228 pounds) but he more than makes up for that with his speed. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich is going to have fun figuring out ways to use Smith in coverage and as a pass-rusher. Smith made some plays during the rookie minicamp and while he wasn't as noticeable this past week there were times when he flashed and caught the eyes of his teammates.
Get ready for some more windmills. Defensive end Andre Branch had a really good first week and coach Gus Bradley singled him out as one of the standouts during the first three OTAs. Branch really came on at the end of the 2013 season, recording five of his six sacks in the last seven games. Babich and defensive line coach Todd Wash really worked with Branch on being consistent in his effort and it seems to have continued into the offseason.
There hasn't be a lot of attention paid to the tight end spot but there's some decent competition behind starter Marcedes Lewis. The Jaguars re-signed Clay Harbor (24 receptions in 2013) to be a flex tight end but also brought in four undrafted rookies. The best of that group is Marcel Jensen, who caught 46 passes for 699 yards and eight touchdowns at Fresno State. He is recovering from sports hernia surgery and missed the first two days but participated on Thursday. He's a big target (6-6, 270) who is a solid blocker but raw as a receiver. His potential is intriguing.