Jacksonville Jaguars rookie class gets a ‘B+’ in 2017 season review

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Leonard Fournette
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Leonard Fournette /

The rookie class for the Jacksonville Jaguars gets commended for their immediate contributions in the 2017 season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were fueled by young playmakers in a massively successful 2017 campaign, and that heavily included first-year guys making their NFL debuts.

NFL.com writers, division-by-division, retroactively graded the rookie classes in 2017 for all 32 teams. Nick Shook drew the AFC South, and in his assessments, gave the Jaguars class a ‘B+’ overall.

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Shook started the analysis off with the obvious choice, Leonard Fournette, although he didn’t go into much detail on the running back, simply stating Fournette was indeed the big play back that was expected:

"Fournette was the home run we expected him to be when he was selected fourth overall"

Fournette was indeed a big splash in his initial season, and showed the potential of being a top back in the league for years to come. The rookie eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season, and scored four touchdowns when it mattered most in the playoffs.

Shook feels that the early success of left tackle Cam Robinson and the potential of speedy wide receiver Dede Westbrook are the key assets of the class:

"the true strength of this class lies in the success of Robinson and potential of Westbrook. The latter didn’t play in a game until Week 11 but put together a nice little stretch, catching 34 passes for 424 yards and a touchdown in 10 games (and eight starts, including playoffs). Robinson was everything a team hopes to get out of a first- or second-round pick at tackle, sliding into the left tackle position and playing well, especially for a rookie."

It’s easy to see that the ceiling for both guys are extremely high. Robinson more than held his own at one of the toughest positions in football, and Westbrook flashed the explosiveness of being a game-changing wideout.

In the end, Shook sums it all up by saying that GM Dave Caldwell deserves credit for the findings in the 2017 rookie class:

"For finding a franchise running back, a solid left tackle and drafting for defensive depth, GM Dave Caldwell gets a firm round of applause."

Caldwell, and assuredly VP of football operations Tom Coughlin as well, absolutely deserve praise for the production shown by the rookie class in 2017. Within the group are multiple players destined to continue to breakout as stars in the league.