Telvin Smith lands at number 83 on the NFL top 100
The Jacksonville Jaguars cracked the NFL Top 100 already with Allen Hurns, but they doubled down with another young stud in Telvin Smith.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a handful of players breakout in 2015, mostly on the offensive side of the ball. There was one standout defensive player and he was consequently named the 83rd best player in the NFL.
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Telvin Smith had an outstanding season in 2015, racking up 99 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, and one enormous interception (the pick-six in the London game to take an early lead against the Buffalo Bills). With so many issues throughout the defense at every level, Smith was a stabilizing force in the middle of the field and he developed into a terrific run defender, knifing through the middle of the defensive line and chasing down running backs on outside screen passes.
If you’re surprised by the Jaguars already having two representatives in the top 100, you’re not alone.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com has been fairly high on the Jaguars over the last couple of years, but he thinks it’s a little early to be crowning some of the Jaguars’ young talent.
"We’re optimistic about the Jaguars, but it’s fair to wonder if Jacksonville stuffed the ballot box after Hurns and linebacker Telvin Smith (No. 83) made the list. I like both players — Smith’s speed alone makes him a tantalizing piece on defense — but this feels premature."
I don’t completely disagree with Sessler – the Jaguars only had 5 wins last season after all – but this list is about identifying good individual performers and Smith was a bright spot on one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
The most encouraging thing about Smith’s presence on the defense might be the fact that he’s going to now be the 5th or 6th best player on defense – that’s how improved the talent on the defensive side of the ball is.
No we will likely have to wait a bit to see the next three Jaguars on the list.