It wasn’t too long ago that veteran receiver Donte Moncrief

  • was buried on Jacksonville’s depth chart.Moncrief had fallen behind Marqise Lee Womens Landry Jones Jersey , Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and even rookie DJ Chark after missing a week of practice because of a sore knee.Now, four weeks later and following a devastating injury to Lee, Moncrief might be the team’s go-to guy heading into the season opener at the New York Giants.He certainly is the unwitting leader of that position group and will be counted on to fill a void created when Lee hurt his left knee in the preseason and was placed on injured reserve.“The young guys, they look at me as an older guy,” Moncrief said. “I just told them, ‘Anybody can be great.’ It just takes the time and passion to go out there and want to be great. Go out there and make plays every day, not just in a game, also in practice, so you can build the trust when it comes down to game time.”More Jacksonville Jaguars newsJaguars expect DE Yannick Ngakoue’s holdout to be short-livedJaguars rookie safety Zedrick Woods submits retirement paperworkJalen Ramsey says Jaguars don’t plan to give him contract extension this seasonJaguars sign former UCF running back Taj McGowan for added depthJaguars QB Nick Foles to miss OTAs for undisclosed ‘personal reason’The Jaguars trusted Moncrief enough to give him a one-year, $9.6 million contract in free agency. The deal was fully guaranteed, a move general manager Dave Caldwell felt he had to do with so much uncertainty at receiver.Jacksonville figured Allen Robinson was gone, was unsure Lee would re-sign, and planned to part with Allen Hurns. The team also had no idea it would get Chark in the second round of the draft.So the Jags targeted Moncrief, hoping his big-play ability would help spread out defenses designed to slow down Jacksonville’s run-first approach .The 6-foot-2 Moncrief caught 152 passes for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns in four years with Indianapolis. He missed 11 games the last two seasons because of shoulder and toe injuries. He also endured quarterback chaos, with Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Matt Hasselbeck, Scott Tolzien and Josh Freeman throwing him passes.“Just having a chip on my shoulder to go out and show what I actually can do and have a healthy year and come out here and compete and show the league what I’ve got,” Moncrief said. “I know what I’m capable of and I’m going to hold myself to it.”Jacksonville is counting on it now Donte Moncrief Jersey , especially without Lee.Still, the team believes Cole, Westbrook and Chark have star potential.Cole was an undrafted rookie from tiny Kentucky Wesleyan in 2017, a guy admittedly awe-struck by playing in packed NFL stadiums. He was barely noticeable on the field early, catching eight passes for 111 yards in the first seven games. He finished with 42 receptions for 748 yards and three touchdowns, plus a few huge plays in the postseason .Westbrook, a fourth-round draft pick from Oklahoma in 2017, missed the first nine games of his rookie year because of a sports hernia, caught 27 passes for 339 yards and a TD in seven games.Cole and Westbrook were in the starting lineup late last season, and it wasn’t an ideal situation.“There were times last year where you kind of got that look in the huddle where it is like, ‘Hey, I have no idea what you were talking about,'” quarterback Blake Bortles said. “Looking at them this year, they are running out of the huddle before I can finish saying the play because they know what they have.”The Jags expected those guys to make strides in their second seasons, but they didn’t want to have to rely on it.Moncrief, meanwhile, welcomes the pressure of having to perform, especially on a one-year contract that essentially has him prepping for free agency again.“Everybody in that room can play,” Moncrief said. “It’s just about stepping up when you’re ready to go. … I just tell them you’ve been doing this since you were little. It’s just football. Make plays, catch the ball, go block http://www.thejaguarslockerroom.com/authentic-a.j.-bouye-jersey , and let everything else fall in place.“We’ve got to be special in that room.” The Jacksonville Jaguars have done little to build around the most expensive player in franchise history.Since giving quarterback Nick Foles a four-year, $88 million contract that included $50.125 million guaranteed, the Jaguars essentially have rummaged through free-agent bargain bins, scoured sale racks and added several guys that might as well have been marked “damaged goods.”All the while they were waiting for the draft.It’s here now and time for Jacksonville to get Foles some help, whether it’s a starting offensive lineman, a mismatch tight end, a big-play receiver or even a third-down back.The Jaguars are expected to use several of their first four selections on the offensive side of the ball. They have four of the top 100 selections, including the seventh overall pick next Thursday night, and could go in just about any direction.But there’s little doubt the primary goal is to build around Foles, a guy personnel chief Tom Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone believe is a franchise quarterback capable of helping the team become a playoff contender again.“We need to improve in that area,” Coughlin said.More Jacksonville Jaguars newsJaguars take chance on Murray State LB Quincy Williams with 98th overall pickJaguars continue to retool backfield, draft Temple RB Ryquell Armstead in 5th roundJaguars select Florida RT Jawaan Taylor with 35th pick, get Nick Foles help in 2nd, 3rd roundsJaguars add to deep defense, select Kentucky DE Josh Allen with 7th overall pickJaguars Draft Preview: Building around newly acquired QB Nick Foles paramountJacksonville parted ways with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and veteran right tackle Jermey Parnell, creating obvious holes at those positions. The team added tight end Geoff Swaim and re-signed offensive tackle Josh Wells, but neither is considered more than an experienced backup.So Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams or Florida’s Jawaan Taylor could be potential targets at No. 7.“To be honest, the foundation of an offense is always through the line,” Foles said. “It’s really hard to run a successful offense without those guys up front.”Taking a tight end in the top 10 would be more of a stretch, but Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson is expected to go in the top half of the first round. Hockenson caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns as a third-year sophomore.Foles said he has been spoiled by playing with All-Pro tight ends Travis Kelce (Kansas City) and Zach Ertz (Philadelphia) Womens Leonard Fournette Jersey , seeing firsthand how elite guys at that position can help an offense 鈥?especially when they can block and catch.“It’s very hard to find guys that are good at both,” Foles said.Coughlin has made it clear that, even with the addition of Foles, the team has no plans to deviate from its run-first philosophy. That means a commitment to defense, and the Jaguars have issues there, too.They traded away pass rusher Dante Fowler, cut former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson and have defensive end Calais Campbell nearing his 33rd birthday.They also are unlikely to keep nose tackle Marcell Dareus, who is due to count $22.5 million against the salary cap in 2020, beyond this season. Throw in 2018 first-round draft pick Taven Bryan, who played sparingly as a rookie, and the Jaguars could add to the D-line early.Coughlin developed a reputation with the New York Giants of drafting along the defensive front even though the team had more pressing needs elsewhere. He picked Justin Tuck (third round, 2005) and Mathias Kiwanuka (first round, 2006) in consecutive years despite already having Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.So don’t be surprised if Coughlin jumps at Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams or Kentucky’s Josh Allen if one of them slides or takes Houston’s Ed Oliver or Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat at No. 7.“We’ll look at every option,” Caldwell said. “We won’t know until we’re on the clock.”Here are some other things to know about the Jaguars heading into the draft:SLIM PICKINGSThe Jaguars are picking in the top 10 for the 11th time in the past 12 years. Part of the team’s problems is that only three of those selections 鈥?cornerback Jalen Ramsey, running back Leonard Fournette and defensive tackle Taven Bryan 鈥?remain on the roster.SAFETY BLANKETJacksonville has parted ways with both starting safeties from last year, cutting Barry Church during the season and Tashaun Gipson before free agency. Although Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson have shown promise, finding competition/backups has to be part of the draft plan.THIRD-DOWN BACKThe Jaguars have revamped their running back room by signing backup Alfred Blue and special teams player Benny Cunningham. But they still are looking to replace third-down back and speedster Corey Grant, who also returned kicks.