Two Jacksonville Jaguars snuck into the CBS Sports list of the top 100 players in the NFL for 2020. Both Josh Allen and DJ Chark were honored.
You could make the argument the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t have any player listed amongst the top 100 in the NFL based on the team’s performance in 2019.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has a different viewpoint. The man who once covered the team here in Jacksonville had both pass rusher Josh Allen and wide receiver DJ Chark on the list of the best players in the league. Allen was ranked 88th overall. Chark was No. 98.
Both could place higher in the rankings in 2021 with better stats and a better overall team performance in 2020. Most NFL analysts aren’t giving the Jacksonville Jaguars much of a chance in 2020.
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Allen, who was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 Draft, was as good, if not better than advertised. The rush end set a new rookie record for the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. He and Calais Campbell both made the Pro Bowl.
“This is an emerging player who should be higher on this list next year,” Prisco added. “As a rookie, he had 10.5 sacks to lead all rookies.”
The flip side to the success of Allen’s season was the fact he was not given the same kind of coverage by the national media as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who was named the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
It was the first time a rookie defensive end was named to the Pro Bowl in Jaguars’ history. This season could be an even bigger year for Allen as the defense will have more of a 3-4 look which should take advantage of the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year’s speed on the outside.
Chark became Gardner Minshew’s “go-to” receiver during the season as the quarterback and wide receiver developed chemistry as the season progressed. Chark played in 15 games last season, catching 73 passes for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns. He figures to once again be the team’s top wide receiver. Jacksonville did add to the receiver room in the NFL Draft by taking Laviska Shenault in the second round and then added Collin Johnson out of Texas in Round 5.
“In his second season, he emerged as a big-play threat outside for the Jaguars. He had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns, Prisco said of Chark. “As the offense improves, his numbers will go up.”
Chark was a second-round pick out of LSU in 2018. He spent most of this rookie season on special teams where he excelled. He also missed five games in the second half of that season because of an injury.
While there were no other Jacksonville Jaguars added to the list, edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue made the list of NFL stars who just missed being in the top 100.