The dark depths of the dead zone are a perfect time to formulate speculative articles and project where teams will be next year. Some people, like the fine folks at ESPN, like to project three years into the future.
Yes, the ESPN staff (an insider article for those who have access) have developed their “Future Power Rankings” where they predict the overall outlook of every team heading into the 2016 season. Three years is a LONG time in the national football league, especially in an era where a rookie quarterback can turn around a franchise in just one season.
Please be in my Jaguars life next year Teddy Bridgewater.
Nonetheless, I wanted to read the article to see the perception of Jacksonville following a horrendous 2012 season. The Jaguars must be somewhat of an enigma to most people outside of Jacksonville trying to evaluate the franchise; on one side of the coin you have arguably the least talented roster in the NFL without a legitimate starting quarterback, but on the other side you have the most dynamic owner in the NFL who just assembled one of the more exciting young front office/coaching staff tandems in the entire league. Early returns on almost all the moves David Caldwell and Gus Bradley have made so far are very optimistic. The Jaguars (from an organizational standpoint, not players) can seemingly do no wrong, capping it off with the announcement of the world’s largest scoreboards in 2014.
With such a strong leadership base and a promising young front office, it would be difficult to project anything but good things for the Jaguars in the next several seasons.
Well the “insiders” at ESPN felt the Jaguars have the third worst outlook heading into the 2016 season, ranking 30th, just ahead of the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets in dead last.
It’s hard to get too upset at the ranking given the basis for all the scores – how the hell are you supposed to know what the roster of a team is going to look like in three years? Anyway, the rankings were built off scoring 5 components – roster, QB, draft, front office, and coaching. Predictably, the Jaguars have the lowest quarterback score and one of the lowest roster scores. Kiper did give Caldwell’s draft some love, even calling the “smart new front office” a strength going forward.
I have no idea where I would rank the Jaguars going into the 2016 season, because quite frankly it’s an exercise in nonsensical banter. Who will play quarterback in 2016? Running back? Defensive end? The Jaguars have very few players who are virtual locks to be on the roster in 2016. So don’t worry about it. And at least we’re not the Jets.
- Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89