Jacksonville Jaguars 2015 Offseason Garners a B+ from ESPN


Heading into the offseason, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell had the most salary cap space to work with in the entire NFL. He took full advantage, as he managed to wrangle in a handful of premier free agents.

Caldwell didn’t stop there, as he had arguably one of the best draft classes in 2015. Even with the loss of first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. for the season, the Jaguars found depth and potential deep into the draft and will still have rookies who contribute on some level.

Overall, it’s safe to say the Jaguars had a strong offseason, at least in terms of upgrading the roster. The folks over at ESPN agree, as their panel of experts gave the Jaguars a B+ for their offseason:

"Jacksonville Jaguars: B-plusAnalysis: The Jaguars spent aggressively in free agency and then were dealt with the misfortune of losing their first-round draft pick — Fowler, No. 3 overall — in his first practice with the team, but still came away with a reputation among our analysts for doing things the right way.“They are clearly headed in the right direction,” Polian said. “They are in a situation where everything goes wrong all the time, but they are working hard enough that their luck will change. They have added three pretty darn good draft classes. They had to spend in free agency to get to the spending floor. They will be pretty damn good once they get guys like Fowler on the field.”Riddick thinks the Jaguars might have gotten the best safety in the draft when they used a fourth-round choice for Sample. He downgraded the Jaguars for spending so much on a tight end when so much of Thomas’ production in Denver seemed tied to Peyton Manning. However, as Williamson noted, adding Parnell, Wisniewski and Cann to the offensive line gives the Jaguars the potential for quality depth at the position, something they simply have not had recently.“They have maybe seven starters on the line,” Williamson said. “I just see a team with a plan in place. They had to pay more in free agency, but they had money to spend.”"

The most encouraging snippet from that analysis is Bill Williamson’s take on the offensive line. The Jaguars were one of the worst pass blocking teams in the league last year, and they desperately needed to upgrade Blake Bortles‘ protection this offseason. The team appears to have done that, and they have done such a good job that they now have depth in addition to 5 viable starters.

Riddick’s excitement about James Sample is also promising – recent arm injury aside – and it would be an amazing get in the fourth round if he were to develop into a quality starting free safety.

The Jaguars are receiving high praise for their work this offseason, let’s hope it translates to the field.

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