SI.com's Peter King decides to give Jacksonville a little love in his 2008 Team Rankings . I'm pretty hard on PK for his writing sometimes, but since he's being kind to the Jaguars, I'll cut him a little slack
3. Jacksonville. "Why'd they let Marcus Stroud go?'' Jags fan Jonathan Papelbon asked me a couple of weeks ago. Long story. Ankle surgery, four-game suspension last year, age (29), unwillingness to pay him big money anymore. Now the underappreciated Rob Meier's going to have to plug the gap there. I think he can, and I think Jack Del Rio will scheme around the loss of Stroud.
What I like about the Jags is that they've addressed their pass-rush need with the daring trade-up for Derrick Harvey -- who will have to be good right away -- and they have a quarterback of the future who's not a worry. David Garrard was pure guts in beating Pittsburgh on the road in the playoffs, and he was pretty good in a playoff loss at New England, with confident scoring drives of 80 and 95 yards. Jacksonville people are more sure than I am that Raider import Jerry Porter will be a reliable receiving weapon for them. I'll have to see it to believe it because I've seen just too much inconsistency from him.
The Jags had a good defense last year, allowing 19 points a game. If Harvey's a DeMarcus Ware-type presence as a rookie, which scouts think he can be, they could morph into a premier defense and be serious Super Bowl challengers in an impossible conference.
Of course, the first and second teams were the Patriots and Colts. The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Football Giants were 6th.
I've got more stuff of substance coming today, including a player interview. Stay Tuned!