Tag Archives: Jacksonville Jaguars

2017 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

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1. Cleveland Browns-Myles Garrett-Defensive End Texas A&M

Entering the 2017 National Football League Draft, Myles Garrett is the best player available which makes this an easy selection for the Browns.

2. San Francisco 49ers-Jonathan Allen-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

The Niners need a quarterback, but they get a value pick in Jonathan Allen while still having the ability to address that issue later in the draft.

3. Chicago Bears-Jamal Adams-Strong Safety-LSU

In a division that features quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, the Bears must get better in their secondary.

Dalvin Cook

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-Dalvin Cook-Running Back-Florida State

As the Jaguars leading rusher last season was T.J. Yeldon with just 465 yards. And with Tom Coughlin entrenched as the Jags executive vice president of football operations, Jacksonville will be a better running team by hook or by crook.

5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)-Solomon Thomas-Defensive End-Stanford

The Titans are on the verge of being a playoff team and it’s time to get defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau some more play makers.

6. New York Jets-Marshon Lattimore-Cornerback-Ohio State

The Jets can go in several directions with this selection, but their safest choice could be cornerback.

Jabril Peppers

7. Los Angeles Chargers-Jabril Peppers-Strong Safety-Michigan

Not since the days of Rodney Harrison have the Chargers had an enforcer in their secondary which could change if they draft Jabril Peppers.

8. Carolina Panthers-Leonard Fournette-Running Back-LSU

The Panthers took a huge step backwards in 2016, and in order for them to resemble the team that went 15-1 in 2015, they have to get back to the basics which means a power rushing attack.

9. Cincinnati Bengals-Ryan Ramczyk-Offensive Tackle-Wisconsin

After allowing veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth to leave in free agency, the Bengals need to get more athletic on their offensive line.

10. Buffalo Bills-Marlon Humphrey-Cornerback-Alabama

New Bills head coach Sean McDermott is a defensive minded coach. And after Buffalo allowed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to leave in free agency, this is a chance for them to address that void.

11. New Orleans Saints-Malik Hooker-Free Safety-Ohio State

If the Saints are going to squeeze another title run out of quarterback Drew Brees, they must assemble a defense that can stop opponents.

Deshaun Watson

12. Cleveland Browns (From Philadelphia Eagles)-Deshaun Watson-Quarterback-Clemson

With the luxury of two, first-round picks the Browns can get the best player available along with their franchise quarterback.

13. Arizona Cardinals-Reuben Foster-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

As the Cardinals are looking to bounce back in 2017, the first thing that they need is a leader on the defensive side of the football.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (From Minnesota Vikings)-Derek Barnett-Defensive End-Tennessee

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is working on getting this team back to what it was during the 2000’s which was being a consistent playoff team, and a defensive end like Derek Barnett who can wreak havoc is a step in that direction.

15. Indianapolis Colts-Corey Davis-Wide Receiver-Western Michigan

The Colts have a new general manager in Chris Ballard and it is time for this organization to put more talent around quarterback Andrew Luck.

16. Baltimore Ravens-Zach Cunningham-Outside Linebacker-Vanderbilt

The Ravens have always been an organization that is known for defense and player like Cunningham plays with a nasty disposition.

17. Washington Redskins-Mike Williams-Wide Receiver-Clemson

After the Redskins allowed wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to walk in free agency, this is an opportunity to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins happy.

18. Tennessee Titans-John Ross-Wide Receiver-Washington

The Titans love to run the football and a burner like John Ross could be dangerous off of play action.

Christian McCaffrey

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Christian McCaffrey-Running Back-Stanford

The Buccaneers front office is showing that they are serious as far as putting a team around quarterback Jameis Winston and here they would get one of the best play makers in the draft.

20. Denver Broncos-O.J. Howard-Tight End-Alabama

The Broncos still have questions at the quarterback position, but bringing in a solid pass-catching tight end will benefit whoever is taking the snaps.

21. Detroit Lions-Taco Charlton-Defensive End-Michigan

As a team the Lions only had 26 sacks last year with no player accumulating more than 8 which makes selecting Taco Charlton here a no-brainer.

22. Miami Dolphins-Obi Melifonwu-Strong Safety-Connecticut

As the Dolphins continue to bring in play makers on the defensive side of the football, they’ll be out to show that their playoff run last year wasn’t a fluke.

23. New York Giants-Cam Robinson-Offensive Tackle-Alabama

There are several directions in which the Giants can go here, but it might be time for them to move Ereck Flowers to right tackle.

24. Oakland Raiders-TreDavious White-Cornerback-LSU

When quarterback Derek Carr suffered a fractured fibula last year, the Raiders secondary got exposed when the offense wasn’t putting up 30 points per game anymore.

25. Houston Texans-Forrest Lamp-Guard-Western Kentucky

The Texans already have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and it could get better here by adding Forrest Lamp.

26. Seattle Seahawks-Garrett Bolles-Offensive Tackle-Utah

Last year Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked 41 times and that isn’t going to cut it if Seattle wants to get back to the Super Bowl.

27. Kansas City Chiefs-Curtis Samuel-Wide Receiver-Ohio State

In 2016, the Chiefs didn’t have a wide receiver gain 600 yards as they need explosiveness at the position in order to take some attention off of tight end Travis Kelce.

28. Dallas Cowboys-Charles Harris-Defensive End-Missouri

The Dallas Cowboys have everything on offense to be a Super Bowl contender, but until they can improve their pass rush, it won’t mean a thing.

29. Green Bay Packers-Malik McDowell-Defensive Tackle-Michigan State

In three playoff games last season the Packers surrendered 88 points as quarterback Aaron Rodgers cannot bail them out all of the time.

Tim Williams

30. Pittsburgh Steelers-Tim Williams-Outside Linebacker-Alabama

Tim Williams could be the steal of the first round as he goes to a team in the Steelers that loves to have versatile linebackers.

31. Atlanta Falcons-Takkarist McKinley-Outside Linebacker-UCLA

The Falcons had a solid defense in 2016, but after watching the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 51, it is clear that they need more pass rushers.

32. New Orleans Saints (From New England Patriots)-Carl Lawson-Defensive End-Auburn

If the Saints are able to fix their defense, a trip to the postseason is very likely here in 2017.

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2016 Week 16 NFL Picks

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The New England Patriots can see the finish line in regards to getting home-field advantage in the playoffs.

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No End In Sight

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The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the National Football League in 1995 as an expansion franchise. At first life was for the Jaguars was good as from 1996-1999, they made four consecutive playoff appearances including two trips to the AFC Championship Game. However since 2000, things haven’t been as easy for the Jaguars as they only made two playoff appearances with the last one coming in 2007. Gus Bradley is in his fourth season as the Jaguars head coach and things have not gotten better for the team on his watch. Under Bradley, the Jags have lost at least 11 games in each season, and after their 2-5 start here in 2016, they appear to be headed down that path once again. This past Thursday night Jacksonville suffered a 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The final score didn’t captivate how the Jaguars were dominated which led some people to question whether or not that it was time to move on from Bradley. However Jaguars owner Shad Khan is sticking by Bradley, but I doubt that this will be the case that much longer.

Gus Bradley

Under Bradley, the Jaguars have one of the youngest teams in the National Football League, but they have been unable to establish themselves.

In 2013, offensive tackle Luke Joeckel became the first player selected by Bradley as Jaguars head coach. Joeckel was taken second overall in the National Football League Draft by Jacksonville and he was expected anchor their offensive line. But the injury bug has bitten Joeckel as he has only made all 16 starts in a season once while he is heading down the road of being a draft bust. The following year saw the Jags select quarterback Blake Bortles in the first round. Bortles became a starter in his rookie season, and although that he set a single-season record with 4,468 passing yards last season for the franchise, he has yet to take that next step as a quarterback. Last year Bortles led the NFL in interceptions with 18, and in nearly three seasons he has been sacked 123 times. In 2015, the Jags used the third overall pick of the draft on defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. But on Fowler’s first day of practice with Jacksonville, he suffered a torn ACL which forced him to miss the entire 2015 NFL season. Fowler has returned to action this season as he has 13 tackles and 2 sacks. And like Fowler, the jury is still out on the Jaguars first-round pick from 2016 in defensive back Jalen Ramsey who has 24 tackles while he has yet to tally an interception.

Blake Bortles

When Bortles threw for 4,468 yards last season, wide receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson each tallied more than 1,000 yards receiving which led to higher expectations for the Jags heading into the 2016 National Football League season. But the young team hasn’t been able to answer the bell. And as the AFC South is arguably the worst division in the NFL this year, some signs of life could potentially develop some optimism for them in regards to making the postseason; however that hasn’t been the case.

Shad Khan

Of Jacksonville’s five losses this year, three have come at home. And after Khan has done his due diligence to revive the team’s fan base in North Florida which includes more amenities at EverBank Field, a fancy pool and a huge video board aren’t going to cover up the fact that the Jaguars are struggling to win football games.

Under Bradley, the Jags have yet to figure out how to consistently win in the National Football League and that is what indeed separates that haves from the have nots. But whereas Khan may not be open to making a coaching change right now, I don’t see any way that Bradley will still be the Jaguars head coach in 2017 without some drastic improvement on the field in their final nine games this year.

The Jaguars have never hired a head coach that was previously a head coach in the National Football League and I expect that trend to continue should they decide part with Bradley. And if that is the case, it could mark the end of Bortles’ time with the Jags as well.

After this year Bortles has one year left on his rookie deal, and a new head coach will more than likely want “his guy” at quarterback. The Jaguars have to make a decision on Bortles during the off-season as to whether or not they want to give him an extension, and if he keeps on the path that he is currently going, I doubt that this will happen. This past Saturday, the Jaguars fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson who has now become the scapegoat for the team’s issues, while also putting Bortles on notice as following their loss to Tennessee, they were 21st in the National Football League in total offense.

In the AFC South, the Titans, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts all find themselves floating around .500, and it is only Jacksonville that has been unable to show signs of life and get into the divisional race. The Jags still have four divisional games remaining this year, while they have seven contests against teams that currently have winning records. For a very long time the Jaguars have been two years away from being two years away, and as another coaching change does appear to be in the cards for them, there is no end in sight as far as the losing goes in Northern Florida.

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2016 Week 4 NFL Picks

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The New York Jets need quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to get back on track.

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2016 AFC South Projections

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X-Indianapolis Colts 8-8

The struggles of the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 reminded folks of the previous regime that was running the show for the team. When former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning missed the entire 2011 National Football League season following neck surgery, Indianapolis went from being a Super Bowl contender to being the worst team in the league. The Colts would then have the first overall pick at the 2012 NFL Draft which they used on quarterback Andrew Luck. In Luck’s first three years with the Colts, he led the club to an 11-5 record in each year with a trip to the postseason. But things unraveled for the Colts last year as Luck was injured while Indianapolis simply lacked cohesion. Pep Hamilton would be fired as the Colts offensive coordinator, while Chuck Pagano held on by a thread to remain as the team’s head coach. And now in 2016, the Colts are hopeful that they will be able to once claim the title of being the team to beat in the AFC South.

Andrew Luck

First and foremost Luck is healthy and looking to put 2015 behind him. Last year Luck was never right as he threw 12 interceptions in just seven games while his record was 2-5. Luck must get back to feeling comfortable in the pocket, but it also comes down to the team that is around him.

The Colts have been unable to provide Luck with a quality running game around him as you have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time that Indianapolis had a running back gain at least 1,000 yards on the ground. The Colts were 29th in rushing last year in the National Football League and they can’t rely on the legs of running back Frank Gore who is an 11-year NFL vet to hold up under the riggers of the 16-game regular season.

 

 

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is a burner at wide receiver, but the Colts receiving corps behind him are very weak as team general manager Ryan Grigson has not done a good job as far as putting play makers around Luck.

The same can be said about the Colts offensive line where there isn’t any star power which could make for a long season in Indianapolis in spite of the fact that Luck is returning to the team.

Chuck Pagano

Defensive football is Pagano’s specialty, but the Colts were 26th in total defense last season, and it could once again be a struggle for this team.

The ability of Luck can keep the Colts afloat, but this is an organization that has not learned from how they assembled a team during the latter years of Manning’s time with the team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Titans 7-9

The Tennessee Titans franchise find themselves in the midst of a long dry spell. 2011 was the last year that the Titans were able to finish a National Football League season with a winning record, while 2008 was the last time that they made the postseason. And if you want to take it a step further, you have to go back to January 2004 to find the last time that the Titans were victorious in the postseason.

After taking over for Ken Whisenhunt during the 2015 National Football League season after he was fired, Mike Mularkey is looking to do things his way with the Titans. Mularkey went 2-7 in relief of Whisenhunt last year, but the Titans front office feels that he is the man that can turn things around for this franchise.

In 2015, the Titans used the second overall pick of the National Football League Draft to select quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota was coming off of winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Oregon, and there was an adjustment period for him as he spent 2015 getting accustomed to a pro-style offense with the Titans. Mariota took his lumps as a rookie as he went 3-9 as a starter. But Mariota was able to throw 19 touchdown passes which included him a having a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in his first career game and he should be ready to assume a leadership role in Nashville.

Marcus Mariota

Mariota and wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham were expected to be building blocks in the Titans offense for years to come. But Titans general manager Jon Robinson grew tired of Green-Beckham’s inconsistency in his route running and pass catching which led to him being recently traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. This will leave a void in the Titans passing game as Green-Beckham was expected to develop into a play maker. But Tennessee will now lean on veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson, along with a pair of youngsters at wide receiver in Justin Hunter and Kendall Hunter to step up and become consistent pass catching options for Mariota.

A young quarterback’s best friend is the running game, and after the Titans were 25th in the National Football League last season in rushing, they should be ready to improve here in 2016. Earlier in the off-season the Titans acquired running back DeMarco Murray from the Eagles. 2015 was a year to forget for Murray as he struggled in an offense that wasn’t suited for his running style. But now with Titans, Murray could once again regain some of the form that he had in 2014 when he led the National Football League in rushing as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Aside from Murray, the Titans used a second-round pick on running back Derrick Henry. Henry won the Heisman Trophy last year as he helped the Alabama Crimson Tide win the national championship, and his physical running style should allow Tennessee to keep drives going.

The past four years have seen the Titans use three, first-round picks on offensive linemen. Guard Chance Warmack is entering his fourth year with the Titans, while offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is entering his third year. And offensive tackle Jack Conklin is looking to give Tennessee a pair of young bookends on their offensive line as this is going to be the unit that is going to generate flow for the Titans offense.

Dick LeBeau is entering his second year as the Titans defensive coordinator, but he brings with him a plethora of experience. LeBeau played 14 years with the Detroit Lions as a defensive back and his 62 career interceptions are the tenth most in National Football League history. LeBeau has also coached in the NFL since 1973 which includes winning a pair of Super Bowl Championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an assistant coach.

In 2015, the Titans were 12th in the National Football League in total defense in spite of the fact that LeBeau didn’t have the typical play makers needed to operate his blitz happy 3-4 defensive scheme. The Titans still don’t have those play makers, but they will still be a thorn in the sides of their opponents.

The AFC South is not expected to be overly strong this year, and the Titans could find themselves in the divisional title hunt until the very end.

Jacksonville Jaguars 7-9

It is no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the midst of a rough patch. The Jaguars have not had a winning season since 2007 which was also their last trip to the playoffs. Since then the Jags have had six seasons in which they’ve lost at least 10 games including each of the last five. And with the Jaguars struggles, it was a bit surprising that team owner Shahid Khan decided to retain the services of head coach Gus Bradley for a fourth year. But Khan and Bradley are hopeful that the Jags young nucleus will be able to gel here in 2016.

Blake Bortles

The Jags feel that they have their franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles who is coming off of setting a single-season franchise record in passing yardage (4,428), and passing touchdowns (35). As Bortles continues to progress as a quarterback, he must work on developing his pocket awareness as he has been sacked 106 times in two years, while also throwing 18 interceptions last season which was tops in the National Football League.

In front of Bortles, the Jaguars have a young offensive line that is anchored by left tackle Luke Joeckel as it is time for the training wheels to be taken off of this group if Jacksonville expects to contend for a playoff berth.

If the Jags offensive line is able to give Bortles enough protection, they have play makers at the wide receiver position in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. Last year Hurns and Robinson became the Jaguars first duo of wide receivers since Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith in 2001 to each gain at least 1,000 yards receiving as they should once again ready to cause problems for the secondaries of the AFC South.

But if Jacksonville’s offense is going to become consistent in 2016, the running game must improve. Last year the Jags were 27th in the National Football League in rushing with running back T.J. Yeldon being the team’s leading ground gainer at 740 yards. This off-season has seen the Jaguars sign veteran running back Chris Ivory who gained a career-high 1,070 last year as a member of the New York Jets. The Jags must be more committed to the ground game as it will take some pressure off of Bortles, while also cutting down on his sacks.

This year’s Jags defense could be all about “high risk, high reward”. In 2015, Jacksonville used the third overall pick of the National Football League Draft on defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. But in Fowler’s first practice with the Jaguars, he suffered a torn ACL that ended his season before it started. This year the Jaguars used a second-round pick on outside linebacker Myles Jack who missed the majority of his final year at UCLA with a knee injury. Both Jack and Fowler are healthy now and if they are able to live to the hype, they could become pleasant surprises in Northern Florida.

In 2013, the Indianapolis Colts used a first-round pick on defensive end Bjorn Werner. Collegiately at Florida State, Werner was the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, along with being an All-American. But when the Colts drafted Werner, they insisted on making him an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive system and he was never able to adjust. The Colts cut ties with Werner this off-season and as the Jaguars picked him up off of the scrap heap, a return to Northern Florida, along with going back to his original position as a 4-3 defensive end could be just what the doctor ordered for him.

Werner’s collegiate teammate in cornerback Jalen Ramsey was Jacksonville’s first-round choice this past spring, and the combination of him and former New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara should be help to solidify the Jaguars secondary.

The Jaguars are very close to breaking through and becoming a playoff team, but they have to start winning the games that they are expected to win, along with defeating the good teams.

Houston Texans 6-10

Bill O’Brien

In each of Bill O’Brien’s two years as the head coach of the Houston Texans, he has led his team to a record of 9-7. But unlike 2014, O’Brien was able to get the Texans to the postseason in 2015. The Texans won the AFC South last year for the first time since 2012 and although that their season didn’t end in the fashion that they wanted to as they were blown out 30-0 at home by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card Game, Houston is looking to build off of last year’s trip to the postseason in a very weak AFC South.

But the Texans will begin the 2016 National Football League season with a huge disadvantage as they’ll more than likely be without the services of defensive end J.J. Watt. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and in five seasons with the Texans, he has registered 74.5 sacks. Watt underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc in July, and although that he could be ready to go in Week 1, it’s difficult to expect him to be the same player immediately. Aside from what Watt can do, his presence on the field makes his defensive teammates better due to the matchup nightmares that he can cause for opposing offenses.

Aside from Watt, the Texans have a very active defensive front seven that includes nose tackle Vince Wilfork, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, and inside linebacker Brian Cushing. But if Watt isn’t going to be 100%, it’s time for outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to begin living up to the hype. Clowney was the first overall pick of the 2014 National Football League Draft by the Texans, and after being a two-time All-American in college, he has been unable to become the dominant edge rusher that most people expected him to be. And if there was ever a time for Clowney to figure it out, that time is now.

However the Texans biggest issues have recently come on offense which is what has held this team back. Last year Houston was 19th in the National Football League in total offense as they went through four different starting quarterbacks. In the off-season the Texans would sign quarterback Brock Osweiler to a four-year deal that is worth $72 million. Osweiler spent the first four years of his career with the Denver Broncos and he was expected to be the heir apparent there to Peyton Manning. But unlike the Texans, the Broncos were unwilling to pay Osweiler $18 million per season. In four year with the Broncos, Osweiler only started seven games and he is still very raw as a quarterback as it very tough to gauge what he can do.

DeAndre Hopkins

The Texans possess one of the best wide receivers in football in DeAndre Hopkins who’s numbers have increased in each of his three seasons in the National Football League. The Texans were 15th in the NFL last season in rushing, but they still need to be more effective as for the second time in the last three years, they failed to produce a 1,000-yard rusher.

The word of 2016 for the Texans will be continuity as they must find some of it if they expect to be in contention to win the AFC South.

X-Division Winner

Source: Pro-football-reference.com

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Time To Take The Next Step

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With organized team activities underway around the National Football League, there are several teams that will be under the microscope. One of those teams will be the Jacksonville Jaguars. 2007 was the last time that the Jaguars finished with a winning record, and it was also the last time that they made the postseason. Since then it has been a steady decline for the Jaguars with them posting a record of 14-50 over the last four years. The struggles of Jacksonville has seen them pick very early on in the NFL Draft. But what has hurt the Jags more than anything have been their misses with those selections such as wide receiver Justin Blackmon and quarterback Blaine Gabbert as neither player is still with the team. In spite of going 12-36 in three years as the head coach of the Jaguars, Gus Bradley has been given a fourth year by team owner Shahid Khan to get things turned around. And as the AFC South could be the worst division in football for the second consecutive year, the time is now for the Jaguars to take that next step and contend for a postseason spot.

Gus Bradley

One reason why Bradley was able to get another year to turn things around is that he is building a team in the mode of his former employer. Prior to becoming the Jaguars head coach, Bradley was the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. And in recent years the Seahawks have developed the blueprint as far as having depth on a roster which Bradley is now attempting to do in Jacksonville.

 

After being the third overall pick of the 2014 National Football League Draft, quarterback Blake Bortles has begun to provide some stability for a team that needs it. Prior to drafting Bortles, the Jags had seven different starting quarterbacks in the previous six years. In two years in Jacksonville, Bortles has made 29 starts, while he set a single-season franchise record for passing yards last season with 4,428 yards. Bradley and the Jags took some heat for taking Bortles that early in the draft, but he is continuing to develop and they are hopeful that he is their franchise guy. And as the the Jaguars want Bortles to be “the guy”, they are putting the play makers around him.

In 2013, Bradley made offensive tackle Luke Joeckel the first player that he selected as Jaguars head coach. And after only appearing in five games as a rookie, Joeckel has made 30 starts for the Jags over the last two years as the team sees him as the anchor of their offensive line for some time.

Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns

Aside from the offensive line, the Jags are also giving Bortles quality wide receivers to get the football to. Last year saw wide receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson become the first Jaguars duo to each gain 1,000 yards receiving in the same season since 2001 as the duo combined for 2,431 yards. This off-season saw the Jaguars give Hurns an extension that will be worth $40 million over the next four years and he is developing into a go-to-guy for Bortles.

The last two years has seen the Jags spend early picks in the National Football League Draft on potential impact players on defense; however they have yet to get any bang for their buck. Last year the Jaguars used the third overall pick of the draft on defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. But in Fowler’s first practice with the Jags, he suffered a torn ACL which forced him to miss the entire 2015 NFL season. Fowler has been rehabbing and he is back on the field as Jacksonville is hopeful that he can be an impact player for them in their front seven. This past April, the Jaguars used the fifth overall pick on cornerback Jalen Ramsey. And unfortunately for the Jags, Ramsey has been sidelined so far after undergoing knee surgery. The Jaguars second-round selection was used on linebacker Myles Jack who himself missed the majority of his final collegiate season at UCLA after undergoing knee surgery. But like Fowler and Ramsey, the Jaguars are optimistic that Jack will be healthy and ready to go when the season starts.

However the biggest issue that Bradley faces is getting his young Jaguars to take the field each Sunday expecting to win. 2013 saw Jacksonville lose their first eight games, while they began 2014 with a record of 1-10. Through 13 games last year the Jaguars had a record of 5-8 as they were still alive in the AFC South. But unfortunately for Jacksonville, they would lose their final three games of the season.

So now the biggest hurdle that the Jaguars face is winning in the National Football League as they have proven that they can compete, but they need to that next step which includes extending drives on offense, getting turnovers on defense to give the football to the offense which needs to take advantage by putting points on the board, and learning how to play with a lead. Too often over the past few years we’ve seen the Jaguars fall behind early by multiple scores which can completely change the game plan of a head coach and an offensive coordinator. But there is no time like the present and it is time for the young Jags to take off the training wheels which starts with Bortles who must continue to improve his pocket presence as he has been sacked 106 times in two seasons.

Shahid Khan

Since becoming the Jaguars owner in 2011, Shahid Khan has dedicated himself to the Jags and the City of Jacksonville. And a part of that dedication has been patience with his football team. Khan knew that fixing the Jaguars wouldn’t be an easy process which is why he has stayed with Bradley as the team’s head coach. Typically when a National Football League franchise is constantly making changes at the head coach position, their win-loss column isn’t that impressive. The Jaguars are young, and just like a collegiate head football coach that needs time to develop his recruits, the same can be said in the NFL.

Although that the start of the 2016 National Football is still nearly three months away, there isn’t a clear cut favorite to win the AFC South. The Indianapolis Colts need to make sure that their starting quarterback Andrew Luck is healthy, while the Houston Texans still have questions at quarterback even after signing Brock Osweiler this off-season. And as the Jaguars have recently been one of the worst teams in the National Football League, they’ve had competion from within their division in the form of the Tennessee Titans who are also bottom feeders that are looking to turn things around.

The groundwork is in place for the Jaguars; now it is just a matter of them seizing the opportunity that is in front of them.

Source: Pro-football-reference.com

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2016 AFC South Grades

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Houston Texans

Grade: C

First Round Pick: Will Fuller-Wide Receiver-Notre Dame

Best Pick: Will Fuller

Although that the Houston Texans will enter the 2016 National Football League season as the defending champions of the AFC South, they need to improve on several flaws. The Texans went 9-7 last year and they have issues on the offensive side of the football which they have begun to address.

The Texans feel like they’ve found their franchise quarterback as they signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweilier to a four-year, $72 million deal at the start of free agency. And during the National Football League Draft last month, the Texans attempted to get Osweiler some help in the earlier rounds when they used their first-round selection on Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Will Fuller, which was followed by a third-round selection of Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Braxton Miller.

Will Fuller

Speed is the name of the game for both Fuller and Miller. At the National Football League Scouting Combine, Fuller was picking them up and putting them down as he ran a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash. Miller went to Ohio State as a quarterback, but he eventually converted to wide receiver, and upon drafting him, the Texans feel that he has untapped potential. And don’t think that gadget plays with Miller is something that hasn’t crossed the mind of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien who learned that from his time as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick.

But the Texans only had five picks in the draft, and they failed to upgrade their offensive line which needed to be upgraded. The Texans are rolling the dice on an unproven quarterback in Osweiler, and they need to sure up every position around him.

Indianapolis Colts

Grade: C

First Round Pick: Ryan Kelly-Center-Alabama

Best Pick: Round Four-Antonio Morrison-Inside Linebacker-Florida

Heading into the 2016 National Football League Draft, there weren’t questions surrounding the quarterback position for the Indianapolis Colts as Andrew Luck in entrenched as the guy there. But the team that is around Luck is where the issues begin as this is a Colts organization with a general manager in Ryan Grigson that must do a better job of putting play makers around their franchise quarterback on both sides of the football.

Luck took a beating last year as he played behind a porous offensive line. But Grigson began to fix this in the first round of the National Football League Draft when he selected Alabama Crimson Tide center Ryan Kelly. Kelly comes to the Colts as the Rimington Award winner as the nation’s top center. And the Colts are hopeful that Kelly will be able to anchor their offensive line in the mode the Jeff Saturday did at the position for so many years.

Antonio Morrison

Grigson and the Colts found themselves selecting several projects in this draft, but he might have found an impact player in the fourth round in Florida Gators inside linebacker Antonio Morrison. At 6’1″, 232 lbs., Morrison doesn’t have the physical intangibles that the National Football League is looking for at middle linebacker, but he is a football player that plays with determination and major instincts which is evident by his 294 career tackles at Florida. And for Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, he might have a solid starter on his hands with Morrison.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: B+

First Round Pick: Jalen Ramsey-Free Safety-Florida State

Best Pick: Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey

2007 was the last time that the Jacksonville Jaguars made the playoffs in the National Football League, but the team is beginning to assemble play makers that could end that drought. The Jaguars hit it big in the early stages of the 2016 NFL Draft when they used the fifth overall pick on Florida State Seminoles safety Jalen Ramsey. In each of my mock drafts I had the Jags selecting Ramsey as the match between the player and organization appeared to be a perfect fit. For the longest time Jacksonville has needed impact players in their secondary, and what Ramsey provides them with is tremendous range.

In the second round the Jaguars selected UCLA Bruins linebacker Myles Jack. Jack suffered a knee injury last year in college that prevented him from being a top-10 pick in the draft, but he fell to the Jags who see him has another first-round pick. And once you factor in that Jacksonville is counting on the return of outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., from a knee injury, this team could be ready to roll out three rookies in the starting lineup come September.

Tennessee Titans

Grade: B

First Round Pick: Jack Conklin-Offensive Tackle-Michigan State

Best Pick: Derrick Henry-Running Back-Alabama

Trading back and still getting value was a theme for the Tennessee Titans at the 2016 National Football League Draft. The Titans came into the draft with the first overall pick. But with teams such as the Los Angeles Rams very desperate to move up in order to select a quarterback, Tennessee moved down and they received compensation in the form of additional picks in the process. And after striking a deal with the Cleveland Browns, the Titans used the eighth overall pick on Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin.

Jack Conklin

Conklin was the safest pick for the Titans at the time due to the fact that teams were passing on Mississippi Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil due to a questionable photo of him popped up on Twitter. At 6’6″, 308 lbs., Conklin has prototypical size to play left tackle in the National Football League, while Tennessee is hopeful that he can protect the blind side of quarterback Marcus Mariota who is clearly their franchise quarterback.

The Titans had three selections in the second round with the first one being used on Clemson Tigers defensive end Kevin Dodd. In Dodd’s last year at Clemson, he recorded 12 sacks in helping the Tigers reach the national title game. And at 6’5″, 277 lbs., the Titans are hopeful that he provide pressure off of the edge. Later in the second round, Tennessee selected Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry. Last year Henry won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top player, and at 6’3″, 247 ls., he was a runaway freight train with the football. Henry’s presence in Tennessee will give the Titans a solid inside-out combination at the running back position with veteran running back DeMarco Murray who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this off-season. The arrival of Henry will be a welcome sight to the folks of Tennessee as they saw enough of him torching their beloved Tennessee Volunteers, and now they are hopeful that he can light up the scoreboard in their favor.

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