Jaguars: ‘Stealing’ one player from every AFC South foe in 2021

HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool)
HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard #53 (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /

Darius Leonard would upgrade the Jacksonville Jaguars’ linebacker corps.

The Jaguars struggled to win games in 2020 but nobody will take away the fact they beat the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener. Even though Indy mustered 11 victories, they lost to Jacksonville in Week 1. The Colts were the only team that lost to the Jaguars in 2020, isn’t that embarrassing? On the other hand, head coach Frank Reich has done a good job of rebuilding the team that Ryan Grigson tore down during his unfruitful tenure as the general manager.

The Colts now have a talented running back in sophomore Johnathan Taylor and they have one a top-3 offensive line. Moreover, they traded for quarterback Carson Wentz this offseason and ranked tenth in points allowed in 2020. If it wasn’t enough, they fortified their defensive front in this year’s selection meeting. Although the Tennesee Titans may be the favorites to win the AFC South after acquiring wide receiver Julio Jones, Indy will be a formidable foe this upcoming season.

So who should the Jaguars steal from this Horshoe team? Guard Quenton Nelson would be a tempting choice but why not go with All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard? The 2018 second-round selection has been one of the most dominant defenders in the whole NFL over the last three years.

After earning All-Pro honors as a rookie, Leonard had a relatively down sophomore campaign. Nevertheless, he got back on track in 2020 and logged 132 total tackles, seven tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, and seven passes defensed. Moreover, the South Carolina State product has snagged seven interceptions over his three-year career. He would be the perfect player to round out a Jaguars’ linebacker corps that already includes Myles Jack and Joe Schobert.