- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have finished organized team activities and mandatory minicamp and break for the next six weeks before beginning training camp on July 31.
Here are five things I learned from the Jaguars' offseason program:
WR Allen Robinson was impressive: He was held out of more than half the OTAs because the Jaguars wanted to ease him back from the stress fracture in his foot that cost him the final six games of the 2014 season, but when he got back he had several "wow" days. The 6-foot-3 Robinson gives the Jaguars a player that can go up and win 50-50 balls, which is something they haven't had in a while. He was by far the Jaguars' best receiver and, to me anyway, the most impressive player out there.
QB Blake Bortles is better but still needs work: Bortles has worked on shortening his delivery and lengthening his follow-through and there is a noticeable difference during drills. However, when he's in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11, he reverts back to his old throwing motion and he's going to be spending part of the next six weeks working on that. It's not an easy task to change the way he's thrown for his entire life and it's something that will require hours of repetition. The good news for Jaguars fans is he's embracing the changes and is willing to put in the work required to make them.
The RBs have looked good: Rookie T.J. Yeldon, a second-round pick, is expected to be the starter but the Jaguars appear to have a deep group of backs. Toby Gerhart is healthy and appears to be rejuvenated by the team's switch to a gap/inside zone scheme, which fits him much better than the outside zone the Jaguars used last season. Denard Robinson looks more comfortable in his second season as a true running back. Bernard Pierce seems to be taking advantage of his second-chance opportunity after being released by Baltimore. Undrafted rookie free agent Corey Grant has flashed, too, and the Jaguars are intrigued by his 4.27 speed. The only back that hasn't looked good is Storm Johnson, the team's 2014 seventh-round pick. He's been bothered by back tightness, but when he was on the field it was clear he had fallen behind the rest of the backs. Things may change when the Jaguars get in pads in training camp and if players get injured, but the backfield is stocked with runners with different styles.
DE Jared Odrick may be the best defensive signing: Again, things will be clearer once the players get into full pads, but so far Odrick is the best addition the team has made on defense. He plays the big end spot and gives the Jaguars much more in terms of pass rush and play-making ability than Red Bryant did last season. Odrick also has the ability to play inside at tackle. When the Jaguars did go 11-on-11, Odrick was disruptive in the run game and was sometimes hard to handle in pass rush (though players weren't allowed to get close to the QBs).
DT Ziggy Hood was one of the surprises: Hood signed with the Jaguars last season after five seasons in Pittsburgh, where he played defensive end. He flourished at Missouri playing on the interior of the line and the expectation was that he'd have success when the Jaguars moved him back to his natural position. He didn't do much -- 24 tackles and one sack -- but has been the Jaguars' best defensive tackle throughout OTAs. He has partly been helped by the fact Sen'Derrick Marks is out while rehabbing a torn ACL and he's getting first-team reps. DL coach Todd Wash has praised Hood's performance and said he has improved because he's finally adjusted to the new position and has broken some of the habits he picked up while playing outside for the Steelers.