Who is the player on the Jacksonville Jaguars that the front office should build the team around?
Every team has cornerstone franchise players that they build the rest of their team around. Which Jacksonville Jaguars player fits that profile?
As an example, the Kansas City Chiefs are building their team around quarterback Patrick Mahomes who is a once in a generation type player.
While ideally, you’d like your cornerstone franchise player to be a quarterback, that’s not always the case. The Carolina Panthers are building their team around running back Christian McCaffrey and the Los Angeles Rams are arguably forming their team around star defensive end, Aaron Donald.
Looking at the Jaguars roster, they don’t really have a franchise cornerstone player to build around. It would be great to have defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to be the focus of the team but that’s not realistic as he wants out.
Running back Leonard Fournette could be a fine option to build around too but it seems like he’s more likely to be traded than kept around as he enters the final year of his contract. The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be in another rebuilding project.
One option could be to build around quarterback Gardner Minshew who came out of nowhere as the starting quarterback when he replaced Nick Foles and performed well despite the team winning just six games.
Black and Teal’s own David Levin recently wrote a piece on why the Jaguars should build their team around Minshew. If Minshew has another good year in 2020, then maybe he is a guy the front office should consider building their team around, but he still has lots to prove.
Wide receiver DJ Chark broke out last season catching 73 passes for 1,008 yards with eight touchdowns. If he can put up performances and stats in 2020 as he did in 2019, would the front office consider forming their team around an emerging wide receiver? If it’s something that the team would be interested in doing, it would be unique as there are currently no teams that have a wide receiver as their central focus.
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While it is not common, the Jacksonville Jaguars could have the core of the team center around their offensive line. The offensive line could be the biggest strength of the team which they have center Brandon Linder who is the highest-paid center in the league. To the right of Linder is guard A.J. Cann and to the left is guard Andrew Norwell who could both be strong blockers this season. If the Jaguars move in that direction, they’d be following similar footsteps as the Indianapolis Colts who are known to have a very strong line which always ranks among the best in the league.
On the defensive side of the ball, there are a few players the Jacksonville Jaguars could consider as their franchise player, or at least to build their defense around.
In his rookie season, defensive end Josh Allen recorded 10.5 sacks with 44 tackles and two forced fumbles. He will only get better and if he does, he could very well be the nucleus of the franchise.
While they just brought him in this offseason, linebacker Joe Schobert seems like another great option to build the defense around. In four seasons in the league spent all with the Cleveland Browns, he’s recorded 408 tackles with seven forced fumbles (recovering three of them) while nabbing six interceptions and 20 pass deflections. That’s also not to mention he has 8.5 career sacks.
He’s a great addition to a relatively young Jaguars defense and could very well be the defensive focus in his first season here in Jacksonville.
Perhaps, the team could build around their secondary that consists of cornerbacks Tre Herndon and rookie C.J Henderson. In 2019, Herndon appeared in all 16 games. He recorded 55 tackles (42 solo) with three interceptions and a whopping 13 pass deflections. Meanwhile, Henderson is expected to be a big part of the future as he was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2020 Draft.
Safety Ronnie Harrison can’t be ignored either as he recorded 71 tackles with two interceptions and nine pass deflections in 2019.
As the Jaguars have many different options to be considered the “franchise player”, by breaking it down and looking at their roster, it’s clear they don’t have one player that’s the focus of the team. That’s perfectly fine though as it’s probably better to have multiple strong players than one superstar. As the saying goes, there’s no “I” in team.