It’s about that time in the offseason for websites to come out with their annual top 100 NFL players lists. While the official NFL.com and NFL Network folks drag it out over the entire summer, people like Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwan at CBS Sports release the entire thing at once. You can check out Pat’s list here and Pete’s list here. Unsurprisingly, both analysts don’t rank a player from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the top 100.Pete does put together a “just missed” section and he teases second year safety Johnathan Cyprien as a guy who could make the list next year.
It’s completely reasonable for the Jaguars to be overlooked on these lists – they have 6 combined wins over the last 2 seasons. The future looks bright for the franchise, but there currently aren’t any players who have established themselves in the national spotlight. Still there are a few candidates to make the lists next year if the Jaguars improve in the win-loss column.
In addition to Cyprien, there are a handful of young players who should build on a solid 2013 campaign. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks was arguably the best defensive player for the Jaguars in 2013 and he should benefit greatly from the increased depth along the defensive line. Alan Ball and Dwayne Gratz both had flashes of brilliance at cornerback and could have even better seasons if they receive more support from the pass rush up front.
Offensively the Jaguars are lacking in strong candidates, but there are plenty of rookies and second year players who could surprise. Rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson are talented enough to be productive early on, and veteran Cecil Shorts could challenge for a Pro Bowl spot if he plays all 16 games.
In reality, the Jaguars need to improve considerably as a team and be relevant late in the season for these players to get the attention they deserve. Thankfully this might be the year they start turning things around.
– Daniel Lago