The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't had many players on Top 50 lists for quite a while, in part because of the poor team management by former general managers and because the team simply hasn't been very good. That is starting change however under Dave Caldwell, as for the most part their draft classes have been praised and players are making breakout player lists.
Recently ESPN released a list of their Top 50 breakout player candidates and the Jaguars come in with four players overall. The list has some guidelines however that go into it. No rookies, no players in the NFL's Top 100 ranking, no players who've recently signed a new big deal and younger players.
Here's who made it for the Jaguars:
5. Johnathan Cyprien, S, Jacksonville Jaguars. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was around top safeties when he worked with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor in Seattle. Cyprien finished his 2013 rookie season on an upswing, and should benefit from personnel upgrades to the front seven.
21. Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars. Gerhart averaged 7.9 yards per carry on his 36 attempts last season, and his workload figures to increase after the Jaguars signed him to a deal averaging $3.5 million annually. Gerhart has never rushed for more than 531 yards in a season, and he has less than that during his past two seasons combined.
25. Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars. Marks has made high-impact plays this preseason. Pro Football Focus credited him with one QB hit, two hurries, one forced fumble and one run stop during an 11-snap appearance in the preseason opener.
38. Luke Joeckel, T, Jacksonville Jaguars. Joeckel is back from the season-ending ankle injury that forced him to miss 11 games last season, after Jacksonville made him the second pick in the 2013 draft. A breakout season for him would qualify as becoming a solid starter over the course of a full season.
That's four players in the Top 38 of the Top 50 of ESPN's projected breakout players. Cyprien I think is an obvious pick, as most around the league peg him to end up a very good player. The same can be said about Joeckel, who was starting to settle in before his injury last season.
I guess Marks fits within the guidelines that were set, even though he recently signed a contract extension, which apparently fell under their "big" guidelines. Gerhart is also an easy candidate simply because he's going to end up starting and get the bulk of the carries.