The Jacksonville Jaguars had a long dry spell. The Jags had few wins and often lost games by large margins.
After careful study I concluded that years of unsuccessful drafts played a huge part in this problem. Moreover the Jags drafts from 2008-2012 weren’t productive. Now its time to look back at our most recent draft choices.
I wrote the first post about draft choices during the preseason. At that time it was obvious that the Jaguars past success in the early years of the franchise depended on good draft choices. Therefore I decided to revisit this and see what has happened the past few years. At the beginning I planned to go back to 2015 but peeked at 2014 and thought it was a very good year. This is not a scientific study. I picked the names that I, as a fan, clearly remember.
2014 was quite productive
The players drafted in 2014 are solid contributors to this day. In essence this draft was the cornerstone of things to come. First Blake Bortles was the number one choice. He played for four years as a Jag and that means something. Next Marquise Lee started for the Jags in many games as a wide receiver and starts as of today. Telvin Smith became a genuine star at linebacker. Finally Aaron Colvin played (and plays) corner back as a back up.
2015 added even more production
To start Dante Fowler disrupts the other team on defense. He is designated as a part time pass rusher. Also AJ Cann and Brandon Linder are an integral part of the improved offensive line. Allen Robinson is a star receiver. Finally TJ Yeldon is a solid producer at running back. This draft added to the basis of the team to come.
2016 was a superstar draft
The Jaguars selected Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Yannick Ngakoue. This draft took the team to an elite level. In fact it was a dream come true draft. If they play at this level for a few years this draft is an historic one. Certainly all three are topics of conversation throughout the NFL and All Pro candidates.
2017 looks promising
To begin we took Leonard Fournette. He played great football in 2017 to date as a running back to lead the Jaguars in yards per carry.. Also he surprised us with his pass catching ability. Cam Robinson took on the very challenging position of left tackle and was a success. Blake Brown contributed on special teams. Finally Dede Westbrook‘s injury has held him back but he looked very exciting during the pre season.
The recent drafts provided many solid starters and potential super stars for the Jaguars. The solid core of players encouraged some very critical free agents to join the team. This combination of draft choices and a few free agents propelled the Jags into the role of division leader and the number one defense in the league. There are several more recent draft choices that are very exciting for the future. There is an excellent upside for the 2017 season and future seasons.