After yet again adding a handful of high-profile players, the Jacksonville Jaguars look like the most improved team in the AFC South.
We’ve been here before – the Jacksonville Jaguars just completed a terrific offseason where they acquired a handful of brand-name talents and appear to be a much better team.
This is almost exactly how the offseason went in 2016, when several analysts and pundits jumped on the Black and Teal bandwagon.
After getting burned last year, we’re seeing very few people peg the Jaguars as a good team after another solid offseason. A lion’s share of the tentativeness surrounding the Jaguars has to do with Blake Bortles, but it’s still a bit surprising to see most prognosticators (and Vegas) predicting a 5-7 win season for the team.
That’s not to say people haven’t noticed all the moves the Jaguars have made.
Sam Monson over at Pro Football Focus looked at each division to determine which team improved the most over the course of the 2017 offseason, and he chose the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC South.
"The Jaguars are in danger of becoming the new Washington Redskins in terms of perennial offseason champions, but it’s tough to argue with a huge influx of talent over the past few months. A.J. Bouye coming over from Houston should give them the league’s best young cornerback pairing along with last year’s top pick Jalen Ramsey. Bouye notched 13 pass breakups and three picks including the playoffs last season. Calais Campbell was the most dominant interior pass-rusher in the league last season not named Aaron Donald, notching nine sacks, 15 hits, 32 hurries, and five batted passes. In the draft, Leonard Fournette may be something of an anachronism in a 2017 NFL offense, but he should provide a massive early-down lift to their run game. Ultimately the team’s success will still rest on the shoulders of Blake Bortles."
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Almost every team looks improved on paper after making moves in the offseason, and the AFC South is no exception. The Indianapolis Colts appear to have a better defense after the moves made by new general manager Chris Ballard, while the Tennessee Titans added a couple of potentially explosive weapons on offense for Marcus Mariota.
The Houston Texans may have lost stud cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Jaguars, but that won’t really matter if J.J. Watt comes back at full strength and first round pick Deshaun Watson finally gives them respectable quarterback play.
All that said, it really is hard to argue that the Jaguars didn’t make the most moves to get better. They upgraded at least three starting spots on the defense and should be significantly better at running back after taking Leonard Fournette.
It’s still all about Blake Bortles, but the Jaguars certainly appear to be a better team after the draft.