The Jacksonville Jaguars improved the most in the 2017 NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay

Sep 5, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tackle Cam Robinson (74) in action against the Wisconsin Badgers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tackle Cam Robinson (74) in action against the Wisconsin Badgers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

For a second straight year, Todd McShay thinks the Jacksonville Jaguars improved in a big way after their 2017 NFL Draft.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Jacksonville Jaguars are the most improved team in the NFL.

We heard it all last year after the Jaguars put together an impressive free agent haul and a terrific draft class, all for naught. The Jaguars finished 3-13 in 2016 and the franchise is still trying to revive itself the Hindenburg-like crash the team endured under former head coach Gus Bradley last season.

The old “fool me once” proverbial phrase should apply here, but it hasn’t thus far in the 2017 post-draft analysis.

Todd McShay recently decided to talk about the 5 teams that improved the most over the course of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he started the piece off by breaking down how the Jaguars got better.

"This is really about the Jaguars changing their identity on offense. The best way to protect a quarterback like Blake Bortles, who is last in the league with 63 turnovers since 2014, is to take the ball out of his hands. That means running the ball more, working the clock and relying on an ascending defense to win games. With RBs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon both having struggled with injuries, it made sense to target a workhorse back like Leonard Fournette in Round 1. He has a rare combination of size, speed and power, and was the best back in this draft for a team looking to become more ground-and-pound.The Jaguars did well to draft OT Cam Robinson, who’s a strong run-blocker, to help pave the way for Fournette on the ground. He’s special once he gets a sliver of daylight. The offensive line is still a work in progress, but in a make-or-break season for Bortles, Tom Coughlin & Co. have given the quarterback his best supporting cast since his arrival in Jacksonville three years ago. Fifth-round linebacker Blair Brown doesn’t need to be a star with Myles Jack and Telvin Smith also patrolling the second level, but his steady tackling ability will fit right in on a defense that ranked fourth overall in rushing yards allowed after first contact last season (1.42)."

More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

Unsurprisingly, McShay focuses on the top two picks of the class and how they are going to reshape the offense.

Tangentially though, it’s quite an indictment on Bortles to say the best way to protect him is to literally take the ball out of his hands.

Overall, this is an extremely subjective take, as are most of these pieces in general. McShay’s conceit here is that the Jaguars will be much better on offense if they run everything through Fournette. This may be true, but it also still relies on Bortles being efficient and effective when his number is called.

McShay says the Jaguars improved significantly in the draft, but it’s clear he’s expecting the top two guys in Fournette and Robinson to do a lot as rookies. That seems like a risky proposition for a team that needs to win now.

The only other player he brings up from the class is Blair Brown, which is somewhat surprising. Given Dante Fowler Jr.’s struggles in 2016, I wouldn’t be surprised to see third round pick Dawaune Smoot take a decent amount of snaps as a rookie. I also expect Dede Westbrook to be in the mix as the 4th receiver and as a punt returner.

Criticism of his analysis aside, I do believe the Jaguars got better via the draft as well – the question that remains is did they get better enough to be relevant in the NFL this year.