Three Jaguars make Pete Prisco’s Top 100 list
By David Levin
Three Jacksonville Jaguars – Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, and Yannick Ngakoue – were named to CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco’s top 100 NFL list.
The Jacksonville Jaguars defense gets some more love this offseason.
In his recent list of the top 100 players in the NFL, Pete Prisco of cbssports.com has included three Jaguars players, all who should make an impact on this season. It’s a list he said isn’t easy to compile because of the talent in the NFL.
"“So dive in, look around, complain, moan and groan – I expect all of it – but putting together a list like this isn’t easy,” Prisco writes. Good players get left out because we have an abundance of them in the NFL right now and there is a giant middle class after the 25 or so dominant group of stars.”"
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The former Jaguars beat writer here in Jacksonville turned NFL analyst listed defensive end Calais Campbell 17th on his list. Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars controversial cornerback and arguably the best player on the roster, comes in at No. 33. Yannick Ngakoue, who is seeking a new deal from the team in the final season of his rookie deal, comes in at No. 71. The Jaguars can ill afford the edge rusher to hold out or miss time this season because of a financial distraction.
"“He has 29.5 sacks in his first three seasons and had 9.5 a year ago,” Prisco writes about Ngakoue, who was a third-round pick out of Maryland in 2016. “It’s no wonder he’s looking for a big contract.”"
Ngakoue and Campbell form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL. The Jaguars also added Kentucky edge rusher John Allen to the mix this season with the seventh pick in the NFL Draft this past April.
Campbell has been the undisputed leader of this defense since he signed a free-agent deal with Jacksonville in the free agency in 2017. At 32 years old, he is finding a rhythm many players his age are still searching for. The defensive scheme designed by coordinator Todd Wash plays to Campbell’s strengths and has allowed him to have his two best seasons of his career in Black and Teal.
Prisco thinks that despite a dip in the overall performance of the defense in 2018, Campbell still played at an ultra-high level.
"“His sack numbers went down some, but he was better last year than he was in 2017 when he got Defensive Player of the Year consideration,” he added."
The ranking of Ramsey is a bit of a question given his talent level and how he plays against top-level talent. The former 2016 first-round draft pick (in the same class with Ngakoue), made the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season in 2018. The Jaguars have already announced they will pick up his fifth-year option in 2020 that will pay him $13.7 million.
"“He wasn’t as dominant as expected last season, but I see him bouncing back in a big way. The talent is there to be the best in the league,” Prisco wrote."
The three players helped the Jaguars finish fifth in the NFL in total defense last season.