Dec 1, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Dwayne Gratz (27) against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t had a noticeable presence on Pro Bowl weekend over the last several years, but they had a representative this past Sunday in linebacker Paul Posluszny. Despite the overarching irrelevance of the game, it was nice to see the Jaguars represented in the all star game.
Obviously there are numerous factors that affect whether or not a player makes the Pro Bowl, but there are a handful of guys on Jacksonville’s roster who have a chance to make it to Hawaii next year.
Wide Receiver Cecil Shorts III has flirted with 1000 yards receiving over the past 2 seasons before being sidelined with an injury, and that’s with less-than-stellar talent throwing him the ball. Shorts averaged an outstanding 17.8 yards per catch in 2012 when he had a reliable receiver across from him in Justin Blackmon. The Jaguars are almost certainly going to address the quarterback position, and with even average play from the signal caller, Shorts has a chance to put up huge numbers.
Safety Johnathan Cyprien had a rough start to the season, but his level of improvement over the last few games was staggering. He was always a physical presence, but he started showing better instincts in coverage and he flashed playmaking ability. Cyprien could cement himself as one of the best young defensive backs in the league if he makes strides in the offseason,
Cornerback Dwayne Gratz was hampered by injuries his rookie season, but when he was on the field he demonstrated why he was drafted in the third round. Gratz has the speed and length to excel in head coach Gus Bradley’s scheme and he should only get better with another year of experience. Some of Gratz’s success will depend on the improvement of the defensive line and whether or not the Jacksonville defense can get some pressure on the opposing quarterback. If they can, then Gratz can take advantage and get some turnovers.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89