What do the Jacksonville Jaguars hope to find under the Christmas tree? Here is a wish list for the team in 2018.
Let’s pretend, even just for a moment, that Santa has the football gods on his payroll and you could reel off a list of gifts you’d like in time for 2019. What would you ask for? Tom Brady to retire after this season? The Green Bay Packers to trade us, Aaron Rodgers? Or perhaps you’d like an NFL Draft weekend in Duval County. Whatever the case, the Jacksonville Jaguars have many needs for Mr. Claus to fill.
Here is my Jacksonville Jaguars Christmas List.
1. Joe Flacco Under Center – Something we can all agree on is that Jacksonville desperately needs a new quarterback in 2019. The front office is resigned to taking a $16m cap hit when longtime starter Blake Bortles is cut in the off-season, leaving the Jaguars with little financial maneuverability when it comes to finding No.5’s successor.
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My hope is, that the Jaguars can make some other roster moves (namely, the hefty contracts tied up in our aging offensive line) and attract Joe Flacco on a front-loaded two-year deal.
This will give the Jaguars a genuine starting-caliber quarterback in 2019, allowing the front office to evaluate how close the roster is to competing with a viable signal-caller at the helm of the offense.
Also, if the Jaguars are able to show that Flacco is again a winning quarterback then having him signed to a team friendly contract can open up trade talks for the elite prospects of the 2020 quarterback class. The last thing Jacksonville wants to do when it has already built a talented team is back themselves into a corner at the quarterback position and have no option but to draft, and then play a rookie that scouts aren’t 100 percent in on.
Here’s looking at you, Buffalo.
With any of the available options in the 2019 class probably unable to break the top five of last years incredible class of rookie passers, a veteran allows the Jaguars to compete but keeps the door open for #JakeFromm2020.
2. An External Hire at Offensive Coordinator – Per Ian Rapoport, Jacksonville are electing to keep faith in Doug Marrone through 2019 despite a dismal showing after a playoff run just a year ago. Whilst Marrone may still be around for the new year, there are still coaching positions to fill this off-season.
The Jaguars elected to move on from former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett during the 2018 season, and since then Scott Milanovich has been calling the plays in Jacksonville. Whilst Milanovich has been hindered by injury, an ever-rotating running back committee and well, Cody Kessler, his offense hasn’t shown enough to warrant being awarded the job on a full-time basis in 2019.
There are an array of bright offensive minds who would be available for hire during the off-season, and the prospect of Leonard Fournette and a new quarterback should be an enticing proposition for any potential candidates for the position.
3. New Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager, Eliot Wolf – It’s almost impossible to talk about moving on from a quarterback who Dave Caldwell spent a 2014 top-five pick on, and making their fourth hire at offensive coordinator without the sword falling squarely on the general manager’s shoulders.
Caldwell has made a name for himself in the league by taking excellent players in the middle to late rounds of drafts during his tenure with the Jaguars but time looks to have run out for him.
In his time with the Jaguars, Caldwell has selected Luke Joeckel, Blake Bortles, Dante Fowler, Fournette and Taven Bryan in the first round. Half of whom will not be on the roster as we enter 2019. The Jaguars cannot allow themselves to be stuck on the periphery by staying faithful to a GM who has missed on over 50 percent of his first round picks (especially considering five of his six first-round selections were top five picks).
Who do you replace him with? John Dorsey’s right-hand man in Cleveland, Eliot Wolf. Wolf is the current assistant general manager with the Browns and not only is he the son of former Green Bay Packers general manager (three-time super bowl winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer) Ron Wolf but has many years of experience alongside one of the brightest minds in football.
Dorsey and Wolf spent over five years together in Green Bay and the kind of knowledge that the 36 year-old would have attained whilst helping Dorsey build a championship team at Lambeau is the exact reason why he’s the perfect man to be next general manager of the Jaguars.
4. Jalen Ramsey Contract Extension – Jalen Ramsey has said that he wants to play for one team his whole career, so lets do everything we can to make that happen. It’s very rare that you can still be competitive if your best players leave – cough, Oakland – and Jacksonville don’t want to show their other young stars that they aren’t willing to pay their stars as they deserve.
Let’s make no mistake, Ramsey is the best corner in all of football, and rightfully wants to be paid as such. I’m sure it’s as obvious in the front office as it is to all us fans, so hopefully, they don’t make us sweat it out and give the now two-time pro-bowler a contract that reflects his obscene talent.
5. The Jacksonville Jaguars Select. N’Keal Harry, Arizona State – Whoever has been under center for the Jaguars this year, it’s been abundantly clear that there aren’t enough talented guys for the quarterback to throw the ball too. With Marqise Lee almost always an injury concern, the Jaguars only really have second year wideout Dede Westbrook to make plays for them.
By drafting N’Keal Harry in the first round the Jaguars could have two legitimate number one receivers on the outside, both on rookie contracts.
Harry plays like a bulky Michael Thomas, he has an excellent route tree and a natural ability to high point the football. Using his huge frame at 6’4″, 214lbs, and speed to get open he will have no trouble translating his game to the professional level and looks to be the consensus number one wide receiver in the 2019 draft class.
With the win over the Dolphins last Sunday and the Jaguars hopefully playing spoiler to the Texans’ this weekend, Jacksonville might find themselves with the perfect draft position to pick up a playmaker at wide receiver.
And that’s it. These are all the things that I want for Christmas, am I asking for too much?
Please Santa, or, the football gods.. footall Santa? Pull through for us, we’ve been through enough now.