Which second year players are most important for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018?

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Keelan Cole /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a handful of rookie contributors last year, but which ones need to step up the most in their second seasons?

During the early rebuilding years of the David Caldwell era, the Jacksonville Jaguars counted on their rookies quite a bit, and not by choice. With such little talent on the roster, the team was forced to throw in unseasoned first-year players and hope for the best.

As the team gears up for the 2018 season, the roster appears to be stacked at almost every positions. With budding stars or solid veterans throughout, having rookie contributors is a luxury not a necessity.

Last year, the Jaguars relied heavily on their first round pick with terrific results. Leonard Fournette was one of the best and most productive running backs in the league as a rookie.In his ranking of second year players, Nate Burleson over at NFL.com had Leonard up at number 4 heading into the 2018 offseason.

"Having three running backs in my top four shouldn’t surprise anyone after their show-stopping performances in 2017. Fournette quickly became the anchor of the Jags’ offense and will carry a greater load in Year 2 with a young wide receiver group taking the field. Unlike Hunt and Kamara, Fournette brings an old-school style to the position. He’s a hard-nosed bruiser who can eat up yardage and the clock."

Fournette gets all the attention and will continue to do so, but there are a few other second year guys vital to the team’s success this upcoming season.
Both Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook were pressed into important roles because of injuries to key guys (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee), and both had their moments. Cole in particular looked to be building some rapport with Bortles towards the end of the year.
Westbrook is the wildcard – he has the speed and ball skills to be a number one receiver but he needs to work at it.
Fournette is obviously the workhorse for the offense, but one of the keys to reaching the ceiling for the 2018 Jaguars will be the development of Westbrook and Cole.