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Breaking down Jacksonville Jaguars training camp battles

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Will Bortles start in 2014? (©GettyImages)
Will Bortles start in 2014? (©GettyImages).

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll take a look at some key training camp battles for each team. We'll run down the teams based off my power rankings I did a few weeks back

Starting at the bottom, and work our way up. We are now less than two weeks from training camp, and we'll break down what starting positions are still in doubt. 

Jacksonville Jaguars 

Statistically were one of the worst teams in football last year, as they were 31st on offense and 27th on defense in yards per game. They made quite a few offseason moves and had a lot of picks in the draft (9). 

The position battles we'll look at for the Jags will be QB, WR, OLB, & DE.

Quarterback

Chad Henne vs Blake Bortles

I'm sorry, but you don't draft a quarterback at #3 anymore to have him sit for the whole season. Henne threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season, although he didn't have much to throw to, especially after the suspension of Justin Blackmon. Henne is ahead right now, mainly due to playing 25 games the last two seasons. If Bortles can impress early, I wouldn't be suprised to see him get the starting gig. 

Wide Receiver

Marqise Lee vs Allen Robinson

They drafted two wide outs in the second round in this year's draft, mainly because their desperate at the position due to Blackmon's indefinite suspension. Cecil Shorts is the leading receiver coming back, and Ace Sanders started to come along, catching 51 passes in his rookie year. But he's 5'7" and needs to play the slot. That opens up the door for the second outside receiver, and that will most likely be decided by the two second round picks, Marqise Lee out of USC and Allen Robinson out of Penn State. 

Outside Linebacker

Geno Hayes vs Telvin Smith

With the new 46 "bear" defensive scheme the Jaguars will have, the weak outside linebacker will be a battle between Hayes and Smith. Hayes was graded out the fourth worst at the position last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Smith was drafted in the fifth round of this year's draft, and made all kind of plays for the national champion Seminoles last year. He is a little undersized, but is super quick and can get after the quarterback at the weak side position. Wouldn't be shocked to see him beat Hayes out.

Defensive End 

Tyson Alualu vs Chris Clemons vs Jason Babin vs Andre Branch

Jacksonville has finished last in the league in sacks in the last two seasons. Clemons thrived in Bradley's defensive system in Seattle, and he was released by the Seahawks this offseason. The three years Bradley was there with Clemons, he had 33.5 sacks. 

Babin led the Jaguars in sacks last year with 7.5 and Branch had a breakout year with 6, despite not starting any games. Alualu was a disappointment last year with just 1.5 sacks and may be switched over to defensive tackle. This will probably be the most fierce position battle of them all. 

The next team we'll take a look at is the Oakland Raiders. 

Topics:
NFL Draft
Jacksonville Jaguars
NFL
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