It’s extremely rare for the Jacksonville Jaguars to land at the top of a ranking but that’s precisely what they did one that ESPN recently posted.
Mike Clay of ESPN recently ranked all NFL teams, from the most to the least improved and the Jaguars sit at the top of the list. He points out that the Urban Meyer era “started with a strong offseason” thanks to the surplus of cap space and draft picks Jacksonville had. Clay notes that draft picks are “far from a sure thing” but the fact the Jags drafted a potential franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence is a big plus.
Clay also likes the selection of running back Travis Etienne with the 25th overall pick. He also thinks that Tyson Campbell, Shaquill Griffin, and Rayshawn Jenkins will bolster the secondary.
"Etienne was a suspect first-round pick considering the state of the roster, but he — along with Jones — is an explosive offensive playmaker. Second-round pick Campbell, Griffin, and Jenkins are much-needed additions to the secondary and easily offset the departure of Hayden."
Other teams that ranked in the top 10 were the New York Jets (2), the Washington Football Team (3), the Minnesota Vikings (4), the New England Patriots (5), the Cleveland Browns (6), the New York Giants (7), the Miami Dolphins (8), the Arizona Cardinals (9), and the Denver Broncos (10).
There was nowhere to go but up for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars are coming off arguably the worst seasons in franchise history. Years of poor drafting, inefficient coaching, and a roster that lacked playmakers played a role in the team’s inability to win games. More often than not, Jacksonville fell behind and games were pretty much over by the third quarter in 2020. Half measures weren’t going to work out, that’s why they hired Urban Meyer as the head coach.
Things have changed at Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. Players and coaches say you can feel a different energy and more intensity with Meyer at the helm. Besides replenishing the roster in the offseason, he’s been heavily involved with the team throughout the offseason. He’s even seen in practice coaching players one-on-one.
Linebacker Joe Schobert recently told the local media that the Jaguars’ coaching staff “preach what they live” and lead by example.
"This overall energy in the building, the coaches come in the building every day in practice and start amping everybody up. They’re living, they’re preaching, they’re living what they preach."
The Jacksonville Jaguars are putting an emphasis on sports performance.
The former Florida head coach has made sure that players have access to the best resources available, whether it’s nutrition, strength training, sports psychology, or recovery. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins said that he hadn’t seen a team put so much emphasis on sports performance.
"Here it’s a real focal point. I’ve been to other places. I’m not saying they were bad at it. It just wasn’t as emphasized as it was here. Here is great. We have anything we need just so we can focus in and do what we need to do on the field."
Coming off a 1-15 season, any changes the Jags underwent were going to be noticeable. Nevertheless, the organization made significant changes to the coaching staff, the front office, and the roster because they want to win some football games. So far, it looks like they’ve done a good job.