I'm happy with the direction the Jags are going in. This is a team that will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Let's take a closer look at things:
Shahid Khan has done a very good job as the Owner of the Jaguars. He signed a new lease, keeping the team in Jacksonville through 2027. He has also put a chunk of his own money into the stadium renovations, $30 Million. I bet the new scoreboards, pools, and cabanas look awesome. He has also worked on expanding the fan base outside the United States, having the Jags as the home team for one game for four straight seasons in London, UK, is a good first step in achieving this. The new uniforms and logo looks great, too.
Dave Caldwell has been smart in his first two drafts as the Jags GM. In 2013, he started to build the foundation. He did not make any big splashes in Free Agency 2013, but rather several 1-2 year prove it deals, where he found a gem in 3-tech DT Sen'Derrick Marks. He draft Texas A&M LT Luke Joeckel to play RT with the 2nd Overall Pick. Then, will pick #33, picked Florida International SS Jonathan Cyprien. Then picked CB Dwayne Gratz in the third round. Then WR Ace Sanders out of South Carolina. Then Michigan OW Dennard Robinson in the fifth round, who has now committed to the RB position. Then in the sixth round, he picked Florida FS Josh Evans. Then with the two seventh round picks, he picked CBs Jeremy Harris (spent 2013 on IR) and Demetrius McCray. Every one of these players were hurt at one point or another in 2013 except McCray, though when healthy, most of them played relatively well (J. Harris is an unknown because he never played due to I believe a back injury). Joeckel moved to LT after Eugene Monroe was traded to the Ravens for extra 4th and 5th rounders in 2014. Smart move by Dave since he was planning on letting Monroe walk in Free Agency and probably would have received only a fourth round comp pick (maybe not, #BecauseJaguars), and he got the Ravens 4th and 5th round picks.
In 2014, Dave resigned QB Chad Henne, which was a smart move since Henne is one of the better BACKUP QBs. He also resigned OT Cameron Bradfield, OT Austen Paztor, CB Will Blackmon, TE Clay Harbor, RB Jordan Todman, and LEO End Jason Babin. He also extended Sen'Derrick Marks contract. Caldwell did a good job signing players who fit our scheme in Free Agency. Snagging 5-tech DE Red Bryant when the Seahawks released him, then adding former Broncos Guard Zane Beatles and former Vikings RB Toby Gerhart on the official first day of Free Agency. Then they added SLB Dakota Watson and 3-tech DT Ziggy Hood from the Steelers and Buccaneers. Then added LEO End Chris Clemons from the Seahawks when they had to release him.
As far as the draft, I'm happy with it. I like the Bortles pick, though I was wanting Teddy. I think Bortles will turn out to be a very good QB. WRs Marquise Lee and Alan Robinson will add some weapons for Bortles to work with, especially since Justin Blackmon's time in Jacksonville is likely up. Brandon Linder should be a starting caliber RG. Aaron Colvin is a very good CB and should have been a late day 1, early day 2 pick, but since he tore his ACL at practice for the Senior Bowl, his stock fell. Should be a steal should he come back fully healthy. Telvin Smith will be a solid LB in my opinion, and I think that Chris Smith, though maybe not the best player and maybe more of a "Tweener", he fits the role of a LEO. I will be honest here, I didn't know who Luke Bowanko was, but it's a cool last name and I hope he does well. There's a storm warning out for the entire NFL, thanks to UCF RB Storm Johnson. Big RB who will probably be near the bottom of the depth chart for RB, but he may move up a little next year if they don't bring Todman back for another year. Overall, I'd say this draft was very good, and best draft in the AFC according to Yahoo Sports, who gave us an A-, Texans and Titans B's, and the Colts a D+.
I think our coaching staff is really good, compared to what it was before. Gus Bradley has great energy on the sidelines, but is calm and collected in press conferences. Parts of the Coaching staff needed time to go through the learning curve, even Gus and Fisch had to go through it, and 2013 served as the "Learning Curve Year".
I'm impressed. I think that we will soon become a force to be reckoned with, maybe a perennial playoff team in the near future.
As always: GO JAGS!!!!