Former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt released his rankings for the top 10 most talented rosters in the NFL and (unsurprisingly) the New England Patriots were at the top of the list.
What’s surprising however is that the AFC South didn’t have a single team in the top 10, but Brandt did sure to include the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans in his honorable mentions, along with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.
The AFC South and NFC West were the only two divisions not represented in the list and receiving “also considered” designations.
Brandt has been optimistic about the Jaguars since the end of the 2016 season and he hasn’t been quiet about the fact that he believes it’s all coming together for them this year. He believes the Jaguars are one of the most likely teams to go from “worst to first” in their respective division...
Jacksonville has young talent, especially on its sixth-ranked defense, and the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Jags are also in the eminently winnable AFC South. Will they hire a coach who can pull the right strings with Blake Bortles? I feel optimistic about the young quarterback heading into next season, despite his struggles in 2016, because of my knowledge of him personally. While he obviously has to cut down on picks, he's a guy who works and has ability, arm strength and smarts. The Jaguars would be well-served to bring back offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in some capacity.
...Brandt picked the team to go to the playoffs in Blake Bortles’ rookie year...
Each year there is always that dark horse playoff candidate that no one really sees coming to make the NFL playoffs and Brandt appears to think that it's going to be the Jacksonville Jaguars. I'm not sure we'll see many more national media pundits pick the Jaguars as that "surprise team" to push for the playoffs, but there has been some positive reviews of the Jaguars going forward.
...and he believes Jaguars great Tony Boselli is indeed a Hall of Fame player.
“He’s in the same category with Willie Roaf and Anthony Munoz and Johnathan Ogden and Walter Jones — he’s equal to all those guys. My opinion is that he is one of the best offensive tackles I have observed.’’
The Jaguars may have one of the strongest rosters in the NFL, but it’s coaching that brings it all together. Have the Jaguars found that solution in Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin? We’ll see soon enough.