With opening day almost two months away and the mandatory portion of the initial wave of offseason workouts over, we have entered the more quiet parts of the NFL offseason. However, while the football world seemingly turns slower these days it does not stop.
During workouts and studying sessions, players still have a chance to lay the foundation for their spots on the team. Over the course of the next few months, we will take a look at the men fighting for them on the 2017 New England Patriots. 53 of currently 90 players will be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.
Today, we will continue the series with a depth interior offensive lineman.
Name: Jamil Douglas
Position: Offensive guard
Jersey number: 65
Opening day age: 25
Size: 6’4, 310 lbs.
2016 review: After a relatively successful rookie campaign that saw him appear in all 16 of the Miami Dolphins’ games – starting four at right guard and two at center –, expectations were high for Jamil Douglas entering his second season. However, the former fourth round pick was unable to build on his promising first year in the NFL and was surpassed on the depth chart over the course of training camp.
Having played 57% (113 of 198) of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps during preseason, Douglas, by then a third-stringer, was released during final roster cutdowns. Miami signed him to its practice squad one day later, off which he was promoted prior to the team’s week four matchup. Douglas was active for the game but played only a single snap on special teams. Following the game, he was released and added to the practice squad again.
Douglas was waived off the Dolphins’ practice squad two weeks later; this time for good. The Patriots, however, quickly picked him up and added Douglas to their own practice squad. He would spend the rest of the season there and was signed to a one-year futures contract following New England’s Super Bowl victory.
2017 preview: Having spent almost an entire year on the Patriots' practice squad, Jamil Douglas enters his first training camp in New England with plenty of experience in the team's system under his belt. He better take advantage of it to put himself in a position to either unseat the Patriots' reigning top depth option at center and guard, second-year man Ted Karras, or join him to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
From a pure athletic standpoint, Douglas could very well be able to do that. After all, his measurables and at times promising college career look intriguing for an interior offensive lineman. However, through his first two seasons in the NFL, he has failed to translate his talents onto the field. And if his history is any indication, it would hardly be a surprise to see Douglas once again be beat out over the next one-and-a-half months.
Even if he fails to earn a spot on the Patriots' roster, though, Douglas' tenure in New England might not yet come to an end. After all, the 25-year old is still practice squad eligible and thus seems like a realistic option to earn one of the ten scout team spots as a third layer of security behind the three interior starters as well as at least one backup (with the likely choice being the above-mentioned Karras).