Four Jaguars under the most pressure in 2019

A.J. Bouye, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
A.J. Bouye, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

Can these four Jacksonville Jaguars overcome the possible pressure of playing this season and help this franchise reach the playoffs in 2019?

The entire Jacksonville Jaguars organization should feel pressure to perform this coming season.

As the team moves forward, releasing key veterans and welcoming in new faces, the sense of urgency to prove 2018 was just a fluke is quite real. An acknowledgment of how poorly the team suffered was apparent in team owner Shad Khan’s words following the 20-3 loss in the finale at Houston.

These players, in particular, are under pressure to perform for various reasons. Should they prove to be as good as their abilities, the Jaguars could be knocking on the playoff door once again in 2019.

Yannick Ngakoue – There is a sense the Jaguars may not ink Yannick Ngakoue to a contract extension before the start of the regular season. The team has plenty of options for the fourth-year defensive end.

There is no doubt Yannick Ngakoue has earned a new deal with the Jaguars and also deserves to be paid like Frank Clark and Demarcus Lawrence. The Jaguars must find a way to make that happen.

The worst thing for Ngakoue is to have a down year and lose money. He has 29.5 sacks in three seasons. This could be a career-defining year. The Jaguars would be foolish to let him walk after this season.

A.J. Bouye – Injuries and lack of production last season mean A.J. Bouye, who is still regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, must get back to his 2017 form where he led the Jaguars with six interceptions and was an All-Pro performer.

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I added him to this list because of the drop-off in play but also because the cornerback has a high price tag and could be asked to restructure his contract next offseason. There were times last year he was beaten on plays and looked out of position.

Hopefully, the upcoming season will show Bouye wants to prove how good he still is on the field.

Leonard Fournette – A story on already put it out there. Leonard Fournette is one of the NFL’s top players under pressure this coming season. After a troubling 2018, can he rebound and become the back he was in 2017 while making adjustments on each carry.

Fournette’s injury history and his fluctuation in weight make him a big question mark for this franchise. He came to the team’s voluntary workouts in great shape and with a solid mindset.

This could be his best season in the NFL. He could be a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.

Cam Robinson – The Monday before the NFL Draft, Tom Coughlin, the team’s executive vice-president of football operations made it abundantly clear. This team needs Cam Robinson to play left tackle this season.

A player’s development is greatest from Year 1 to Year 2. Robinson suffered an ACL injury in Game 3 of the season and was lost for all of 2018. He must come to camp in shape and ready to pick up where he left off.

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With new offensive line coach George Warhop on board, I am interested to see how Robinson responses to blocking schemes and whether he improves his football.