There is a lot of hype for Jacksonville this season and with good reason. The arrival of QB Trevor Lawrence and a new head coach in Urban Meyer, who had a stellar collegiate career.
Odds to win the Super Bowl: +12500
Odds to win the AFC: +5000
Odds to win the AFC South: +650
The Jags only won one game last season and they made many moves in the off-season. They landed #1 pick Lawrence, who is a generational talent and entered the draft after his junior year.
He likely would have been the #1 pick after his freshman and sophomore season. That is how good he is. He has a lot of pressure to perform to be the franchise QB, which the team has never really had.
Meyer came out retirement and is back in the NFL after 17 years. However, while a great college coach can he be one of the few of them that get it done in the NFL?
The WR corps for Lawrence may be an emerging one with the free agent additions of Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett II.
Laviska Shenault Jr led the team with 58 catches last season. The team needs DJ Chark Jr. to return to his 2019 form when he made the Pro Bowl after a 1,000 yard season. The one glaring issue is the lack of a solid pass-catching tight end.
James Robinson rushed for 1,070 yards last season and the Jags used their second first round pick on Lawrence’s teammate from Clemson in Travis Etienne. (**NOTE Etienne out of season) The team also brought in veteran Carlos Hyde, who played for Meyer at Ohio State.
The offensive line was decent at best last season and Jax did not do much to improve that. They did use their second round draft pick on Stanford OT Walker Little, but he has not played in two seasons opting out of last season and missing all but one game in 2019.
Jags Ranked 30th in Points Allowed
Last season the Jaguars only ranked 30th in the league in points allowed. Joe Cullen is the new defensive coordinator after spending the last five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as the defensive line coach.
The Jags only had 18 sacks last season and in the off-season signed DL Roy Robertson-Harris and DE Jihad Ward and traded for DT Malcom Brown.
LB Myles Jack had a career high 118 tackled last season and 2020 first round pick LB K’Lavon Chaisson showed potential last season but also has a big size disadvantage.
The secondary was overhauled, as 2020 first round draft pick CB CJ Henderson will be joined by free agents Rayshawn Jenkins and Shaquill Griffin and CB Tyson Campbell, who was the first pick in the second round of the draft.
Griffin was the biggest addition and he will be counted on to be the anchor of the secondary that gave up way to many big plays last season.
The Jags have a chance to get off to a good start. In their first six games they only face one team that made the playoffs last season in the Titans. However, after that stretch is the killer part of their season facing the likes of the Seahawks, Bills, Colts, and 49ers in consecutive games.
I look for Lawrence to live up to the hype and have a solid rookie season. However, the team still has many other holes, especially on defense. The team will not get to the .500 mark, for the 10th time in 11 seasons, but under Meyer and with Lawrence leading them they will win a few games and be a much improved team that has a bright future.