The best players in the NFL were named to the NFL Network’s Top 100. Unfortunately, no Jacksonville Jaguars were on that list.
I know this is not going to sit well with Jacksonville Jaguars fans, but promoting this team on a national scale is a hard sale. So when word got out that no players on the roster made NFL Network’s Top 100, it didn’t surprise me.
Do I believe there are players who have a right to be upset? Yes, a few could make an argument they deserve to be listed amongst the best in the NFL. But a team with a losing record, with a revamped roster and a myriad of questions surrounding them face an uphill battle just to be recognized as a spoiler in the AFC South.
This is another case of a subjective list of players who are interchangeable and are subjective based on who is making this list and checking it twice.
Sometimes, it appears this organization doesn’t exist in the NFL unless there is some controversy attached to its name. There are 1,696 players on active rosters in the league each week. Narrowing that down to the top 100 if hard to do and keep everyone happy. This is not Major League Baseball and each team must be represented at the All-Star game.
Both edge rusher Josh Allen and wide receiver DJ Chark made Pete Prisco’s top 100 players list for CBS Sports over the summer. Allen was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2019, had 10.5 sacks and proved he could be a cornerstone player to build around with Todd Wash’s defensive scheme.
Chark took a major leap forward in Year 2 of his NFL career. He caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. The tall and rangy wide receiver figures to get more targets this season and the connection between him and quarterback Gardner Minshew should continue to develop.
I would have given the nod to Allen as he is a rising star with a chance to be even better in 2020. Chark may show more improvement this season, but also may not be as significant as it was in 2019.
If the Jaguars had followed up their 2017 run with a solid performance for the season in 2018, it would have been a springboard for a list like this. Just like with the Pro Bowl, players tend to stick around based on name recognition. It also may have changed how the team approached free agency and the NFL Draft in recent years.
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There may not have been a Minshew to talk about. Blake Bortles may still be under center.
For now, players who are expected to make an impact this coming season – Allen, Chark, Minshew, Joe Schobert, Tyler Eifert and even Myles Jack – they all must make that happen. The weaker positions on the team – offensive line, secondary – must prove to be better than expected. If that happens, then winning may become a habitual thing.
Then players get recognized. The Jacksonville Jaguars may not win many games this season, but the players on this team can show enough promise to turn heads. And then, a subjective list like this may look different in a year.
It must start with the progression of this roster. It must end with the Jacksonville Jaguars making a statement in 2020.