Jacksonville Jaguars: No players appear on list of top 25 players under 25

Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Nobody is trying to beat a dead horse but the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t a good team in 2020. Although they played competitive football at times, they fell behind more often than not and the game was basically over by the third quarter. On the other hand, the Jags had a few bright spots and some playmakers stood out in spite of the team’s overall performance, so it was surprising to see Jacksonville get snubbed in a recent list.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus recently wrote about the top 25 players in the NFL under 25 and no Jaguar popped up in the article. Meanwhile, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor made the cut and so did two Tennessee Titans players, wide receiver A.J. Brown and defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner got the top spot and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson popped up at number two.

This is not a knock on these players. They are all talented and key cogs on their respective teams. However, there are a couple Jaguars that should have made the list. In particular, running back James Robinson and wide receiver DJ Chark were worthy of consideration, as they played at a high level last season even though Jacksonville’s offense struggled to move the ball and scoring points.

These Jacksonville Jaguars deserve a stop on the ‘under 25’ list.

You could argue Taylor was more deserving of a spot on the list than Robinson because he finished the 2020 season with more rushing yards, more touchdowns, and a better yard-per-carry average. That’s a pretty good argument, but the Illinois State product should earn more praise for thriving even though opposing defenses could stack the box against him, as the Jaguars’ passing game was inefficient last year. Furthermore, there’s the fact Robinson totaled 1,414 scrimmage yards in 2020, the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.

Robinson wasn’t going to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was the clearcut choice. Taylor and Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson also had more rushing touchdowns than the former Redbird. However, he had a strong case to land on the “top 25 under 25” list.

Chark is a curious case. On one hand, he failed to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2020 after making the Pro Bowl the season before. The drop in production wasn’t on him though, that falls on the Jaguars’ quarterback situation. Three different players took snaps behind center in Jacksonville, and the inconsistency at the position hindered the Jags’ skill-position players. Monson might’ve focused on 2020 when putting his list together because he had taken previous seasons into consideration the 2018 second-round pick would’ve shown up.

On the bright side, the Jacksonville Jaguars now have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. They won’t suddenly turn into a powerhouse but they will now be able to move the ball more efficiently and score points more often. Their skill-position players will benefit from his presence and will most likely see their production go up in 2021. Chark will be over 25 next year but don’t be surprised if Robinson and also Laviska Shenault Jr. make PFF’s list.

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