4 emerging alphas on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023

Jacksonville Jaguars inside linebacker Foye Oluokun, left, speaks, as safety Andre Cisco.
Jacksonville Jaguars inside linebacker Foye Oluokun, left, speaks, as safety Andre Cisco. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have improved considerably since the end of the 2021 season and the national media is starting to take notice. Led by head coach Doug Pederson, the Jags won the AFC South title and made the playoffs just one year after finishing in the cellar of the league.

One big reason for Jacksonville's quick ascension to the upper echelon of teams in the NFL is that they've put together a sturdy nucleus with a healthy dose of both young and veteran talent. And among those players, there are a handful that are having a huge impact on and off the field. In particular, these four are emerging as alphas ahead of the 2023 season.

No. 4 emerging alpha on the Jaguars roster for 2023: Foyesade Oluokun, LB

Linebacker was one of the Jaguars' biggest needs last year and the front office did a great job of addressing it. Besides signing Foyesade Oluokun in free agency, they drafted Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma in the first and third rounds, respectively. Although both Lloyd and Muma had growing pains, Oluokun had an immediate impact. He was named team captain and led the league in total tackles with 184.

Looking back, the team's brass surely isn't having buyer's remorse after giving Oluokun a three-year deal worth $45 million last year. Keep in mind that off-linebackers aren't as highly coveted as they were 30 years ago, and only the truly great ones get the spotlight in today's NFL. However, Oluokun managed to shine in his first year in Jacksonville and was everything the top brass expected.

Ahead of the 2023 season, Oluokun is getting recognition. Just recently, he was second in Pro Football Focus' IDP linebacker ranking. Similarly, he was named the most improved player on the Jags' roster after a stellar 2022 campaign.

The fact that he finished above vested veterans such as Dre Greenwald or Bobby Wagner — Roquan Smith got the top spot — shows he's no longer flying under the radar.

If the Jags begin a losing streak next season, Oluokun is the veteran presence that will keep his teammates level-headed and will help them get back on track.