JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are set to begin training camp on Friday. Veterans don't have to report until Thursday, but rookies had to report on Monday for a few extra days of preparation.
The Jaguars have been clear about their plan for first-round pick Blake Bortles, so that's not something that needs any clarification. However, here are five questions for some of the other rookies:
1. What are legitimate expectations for receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson? Their top priority right now is remaining healthy and continuing to absorb as much of the offense as they can. Both missed significant chunks of the OTAs and minicamp because of injuries, and that was valuable time they lost not working with receivers coach Jerry Sullivan. They'll be significant parts of the rotation early in the season, but it's hard for rookie receivers to make a big impact. It has happened -- look at San Diego's Keenan Allen last season -- and the Jaguars do need help at receiver, but it's more realistic to believe Lee and Robinson will finish their first seasons with somewhere around 40 catches.
2. Can Brandon Linder win the job at right guard? That's what he was drafted to do, but veteran Jacques McClendon was the leader at that spot after OTAs and minicamp. He's a fourth-year player who has played in nine career games and is entering his second season in Jedd Fisch's offense. That's an advantage that should help McClendon hold the lead early. Linder is a bulldog with a great work ethic, but he needs some refining and also needs to become more explosive off the ball. This will be one of the training camp battles to watch.
3. Is cornerback Aaron Colvin going to help the team at all this season? That's a hard question to answer. He'll begin camp and the season on the PUP list as he continues to rehab his repaired ACL, but there's hope he can be cleared to resume practicing in the second half of the season. If that's the case then it wouldn't be out of the question to see Colvin on the field during the final month of the season, mainly in a special teams role with a few defensive snaps here and there. There's no point in rushing his return and risking a re-injury. The Jaguars got a steal by landing Colvin in the fourth round, but that would be a waste if he got hurt again. Expect the Jaguars to bring him along slowly.
4. Is there an undrafted rookie who could be a surprise survivor? The best candidate would be receiver Allen Hurns, who benefited from the rash of injuries at receiver during OTAs and minicamp. Hurns got a significant amount of reps -- much more than he would have gotten had the team not been without seven receivers at one point -- and he earned a training camp invite. His familiarity with Fisch's offense from their time at Miami obviously helped, too. If he is to make the team then it will mean one of the other veterans -- likely Kerry Taylor or Tandon Doss -- won't.
5. Who makes a bigger impact on defense, linebacker Telvin Smith or defensive end Chris Smith? It's hard not to get excited about Telvin Smith because of his speed, which was evident throughout OTAs and minicamp. But he's only 218 pounds and that's too light for an NFL linebacker. If he doesn't put on some weight it's hard to see him being effective throughout the entire season. Chris Smith is also somewhat undersized (6-foot-1), but he has good quickness and is a relentless rusher. The Jaguars cut Jason Babin in part because they liked what they saw from their young pass rushers. Chris Smith is among that group so it's likely he makes a bigger impact in 2014.