Jacksonville Jaguars: 2017 Midseason Review

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JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 05: Yannick Ngakoue /

Top 3(4) Defensive Performers

1. Calais Campbell

It didn’t take long this season for Calais Campbell to make his mark as the biggest free-agent signing in the league. Campbell has been nothing short of a monster on the Jaguars defensive line.

Campbell currently leads the NFL in sacks with 11, and has brought the quarterback down at least once in three straight games. Campbell is as unblockable as a defensive lineman can get.

Calais Campbell was a home-run signing for the Jaguars, and is not only the top Jaguars defender, but would have to be the NFL Defensive Player of the Year if the season ended today.

2. Jalen Ramsey

In just his second season, Jalen Ramsey has climbed into elite status at the cornerback position. Ramsey is a quintessential lock-down corner, and not afraid to go head-to-head with the best wide receivers in the game (as well as doing a great job of getting in their heads, clearly).

The numbers don’t adequately tell the story on how impressive Ramsey has been this season, simply because quarterbacks have learned to not throw the ball his direction.

Even with quarterbacks generally looking to the opposite side, Ramsey still has two interceptions and 11 passes defensed.

Jalen Ramsey is everything you want from your number one cornerback.

3A. Telvin Smith

The vocal leader of the defense is having perhaps his best season with the Jaguars, and has earned every penny of his new contract.

Smith just swarms around the field, and always seems to be involved with the play. Smith has two interceptions and a forced fumble, to go along with 48 solo tackles and another 14 assisted tackles in 2017.

Telvin Smith patrols the field as well as any linebacker in the league.

3B. Yannick Ngakoue

With the impact Yannick Ngakoue is having this season, it was just impossible to keep him off the list.

Ngakoue in his second season is continuing to prove to be a steal for the Jaguars, who selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft. Ngakoue has 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Ngakoue is so quick getting to the quarterback, using his speed to beat his opponent around the edge.

Whether playing alongside or on the opposite end of Calais Campbell, Ngakoue and Campbell have become an intimidating duo, meeting often at the quarterback on Sundays.

With a defense as stacked as the one Jacksonville has, there have been many worthy candidates. It is extremely tough leaving a guy like A.J. Bouye off the list. Or Dante Fowler Jr., who is scratching the surface of his potential.