Jaguars don’t get favorable marks for their offseason moves

Fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars ​at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars ​at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have loaded up on talent throughout the offseason but they aren’t the only NFL club that has made considerable upgrades over the last few months. And according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, the Jags haven’t improved much. Monson recently graded every NFL team’s offseason, including the additions they made in both free agency and the draft. He isn’t particularly impressed with the moves they made in free agency and believes they aren’t getting enough bang for their buck.

"They paid top dollar to guard Brandon Scherff and receiver Christian Kirk as well as linebacker Foyesade Oluokun — all of whom should improve the team but don’t necessarily play the most critical position of need or impact. Defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi is an underrated acquisition. He wasn’t coming off a good year, but before that, he had back-to-back seasons with an 86.0-plus PFF run-defense grade."

On the other hand, Monson believes Jacksonville took a gamble “for upside and potential” when they selected defensive lineman Travon Walker with the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

"They rook a gamble for upside and potential, which would be easier to understand if their recent history of doing similar things was better. Trading back into the first round for linebacker Devin Lloyd was another move that doesn’t seem like a great process, and multiple picks in the mid-rounds addressed positions the team is already well-stocked in."

That’s the rationale Monson applied when giving the Jags an offseason grade of C+, a “below average” mark for free agency, and a C+ for their draft haul. The New England Patriots, the Washington Commanders, and the Seattle Seahawks were the only clubs to get a C- for their offseason moves. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans got an A-, the Indianapolis Colts earned a B+ and the Tennessee Titans were awarded a solid C.

The Jaguars should have gotten a better offseason grade.

Nobody will call the Jaguars an elite team ahead of the 2022 season, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks that they have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs. It’s true that other teams, specifically those in the AFC West, have also made several upgrades in the offseason but Monson isn’t taking the hire of Doug Pederson into consideration.

Head coaches often take a back seat to players but the good ones can turn a bottom-dweller into a contender. The Jags needed and still need plenty of work if they want to leave the cellar of the league and win more than six games in 222, a feat they’ve accomplished just twice over the last ten years. But working in their favor is the presence of Pederson, who has a superb track record as an NFL head coach, helping the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Players seem to like Pederson’s coaching style. Rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd describes him as a “player’s coach” and someone who is “fun to be around”. If that’s the case, Pederson should have no trouble getting the most out of this young Jaguars team.

Now, change won’t be overnight, which Pederson himself has acknowledged. Having said that, it looks like the Jaguars are headed in the right direction, regardless of the grades they’ve earned for their offseason overhaul.

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