Chasing The Lombardi 05/18
I gave each team 5 players. I added in the rookie QB for the Titans and since this is a Jaguars blog, we get more players to debate with.
Peyton Manning–5 star
Dwight Freeney–5 star
Reggie Wayne–4.5 star
Robert Mathis–4.5 star
Jeff Saturday–4 star
Andre Johnson–5 star
Matt Schaub–4.5 star (A 5 sometimes)
Arian Foster–4 star
Mario Williams–4 star
Demeco Ryans–4 star
Chris Johnson–5 star
Michael Roos–4 star
Courtland Finnegan–3.5 star
Kenny Britt–3.5 star
Jason Babin–3.5 star (I need more years for a 4 star)
Jake Locker–3 star (a high-drafted QB gets an early jump into superstar status)
Jaguars ( I added more for the purpose of debate)
Maurice Jones-Drew–5 star (The Franchise)
Aaron Kampman– 4.5 star (when healthy he is a 5. Don’t believe me? Google his career.)
Darryl Smith–4.5 star (might be 5)
Terrance Knighton–3.5 star (rising star)
Marcedes Lewis–3.5 star (need more years with that play)
David Garrard–3.5 star (better than most realize)
Blaine Gabbert–3.5 star (the hair gives him a .5 boost over Locker)
Tyson Alualu–3.5 star (I love his “violent” hands)
Eugene Monroe–3.5 star (could be 4 next year)
Rashean Mathis–3.5 star (Non-debatable until he has a good safety behind him)
Justin Durant–3 star (He didn’t get far enough on that rookie contract)
Mike Thomas–3 star (Not established but very promising)
There are too many players on each team around the 2.5 to 3.5 grading, I just added a few for the purpose of perspective and conversation. Here’s the total of 4 star and above per team.
Texans–5 (How do they not make the playoffs?)
As you can see, the players with 4 stars or more truly carry the team. The Jaguars are on the verge of something special, but they are not there yet. Gabbert might take them there, but nothing is for sure.
When looking at this list, the 2010 season makes more sense. Jack Del Rio overcoached the Jaguars with their lack of Superstars (compared to the rest of the division). Peyton and crew swung the Colts up from nothing (they have less developing depth), while the Titans crumbled from lack of a QB and the Texans did what they always do–dissapoint.
It’s easily arguable that the Texans and Colts are the best in the division and their amount of Superstars proves the reasoning correct.
The Colts spent big early on offensive linemen to protect their lifeblood–Peyton Manning. Can they stretch the life of their older class of Superstars? Will it really be a surprise if the King of the AFC South has them relevant at the end of the season? Manning is such a Superstar that the others are not as needed on his team as they would be on almost any other team.
The Texans are on the rise after a great draft and a great list of almost Superstars. They have the best list of young talent.
The Jaguars with their score of 3 are just behind. The real question is the quarterback position. Can Garrard elevate his game to keep his team on par with Schaub and Manning? The rest of the team is growing up fast.
The Titans have a legit team, but they are not without their holes. With fringe Superstar talent all across the board, it seems they too are haunted by the lack of a Superstar quarterback. What will Jake Locker add?
The more Superstars you have, obviously the higher your chances are. The Jaguars are not there yet, but they are steadily building. Look for a better December in 2011 for the Jaguars as new Superstars emerge.