JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have more talent than they've had at any point in the Dave Caldwell/Gus Bradley regime. That's a good thing overall, but not so much when it comes to players on the bottom half of the roster. There aren't as many spots open, which means it's vital for those players to make an impression during the preseason.
Here are five players who did that in the Jaguars' 17-13 loss to the New York Jets on Thursday night. If they can keep doing that, they might have a chance to secure a roster spot with the Jaguars -- or another team -- or earn a bigger role in 2016:
DT Richard Ash: It's going to be hard to make the 53-man roster along the defensive line because of the depth the Jaguars have there, so Ash could be headed for another season on the practice squad. Still, he made three flash plays early in the second half. He got good penetration on a run but couldn't hold onto the Jets back for what would have been a 3- or 4-yard loss. Ash rebounded by getting penetration on the next snap and making a tackle for loss. He also showed some hustle by making a tackle on a wide receiver downfield later in the drive. That kind of hustle impresses coaches. He finished with four tackles, one shy of the team lead (Telvin Smith had five).
WR Tony Washington: There is really only one receiver spot open and Bryan Walters and Arrelious Benn are the favorites to earn it, so guys such as Shaq Evans, Rasheed Bailey, Rashad Lawrence, Jamal Robinson and Washington are battling for practice-squad spots or trying to put enough plays on tape to intrigue other teams. Washington had a 36-yard catch-and-run against the Jets. It was a tough catch, too, because the ball was thrown behind him.
TE Braedon Bowman: After Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis, the tight-end competition is pretty jumbled. Bowman, Nic Jacobs, Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling are fighting for two, or possibly three, spots. Bowman has had a good camp and he had two catches for 28 yards against the Jets. Koyack and Sterling have had trouble with drops, though not nearly as much as Jacobs. Bowman could be the leader heading into the second preseason game, next Saturday against Tampa Bay.
P Ryan Quigley: He averaged 43.6 yards on five punts and placed three inside the 20. Brad Nortman (41.5 average on two punts) will be the Jaguars' punter, but if Quigley can continue to perform this well throughout the preseason, he'll earn a shot somewhere else.
DE Bjoern Werner: He had one of the Jaguars' three sacks against the Jets. He's not making the Jaguars roster, but this might be his last chance to put something on tape to entice another team to give him a look.