Which Rookies Could Start Right Away for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Right now, the fate of the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars rests more on one second-year starting quarterback than the performance of the entire 2012 rookie class. Still, if the Jaguars are going to get back to respectability, they envision a good part of the draft group to make big contributions. In fact, the team is likely to rely as much as half of the class to start this year.
First-round wide receiver Justin Blackmon
Of course, Blackmon was drafted to start. Then he had to go and get an aggravated DUI with a staggering .24 blood alcohol level. He'll still start, but Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union called Laurent Robinson "the obvious leader" of the receiving corps (although she also said Blackmon showed athleticism). Charlie Bernstein. ESPNFlorida's Charlie Bernstein told me on ESPN 102.3 in Denver that Blackmon is having trouble creating separation in practice and the word "alcoholic" is being whispered.
Suffice to say, Blackmon's career isn't off to a great start.
Second-round defensive end Andre Branch
The Jaguars released Aaron Kampman, which should ensure that Branch starts unless he has a disastrous camp and preseason. Branch is already impressing his coaches, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com. If he has a breakout rookie season, Branch could push the Jaguars defense into the league's elite.
Third-round punter Bryan Anger
Anger might have more pressure on him than any punter in the league. Going in the third round as a punter is like being a top-10 pick at any other position. The aforementioned Jaguars defense could made Anger a very important member of this year's team. Jeff Feagles compared Anger's leg to Shane Lechler's and Mike Scifres' based on the thud the ball creates coming off of his foot according to Ganguli. If he's right, Anger will become the silver lining on three-and-out clouds.
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