ESPN just released what they’re calling their NFL future power rankings where they attempt to predict just how good all 32 teams will be over the next three years.
And shockingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars are near the bottom of the list.
Several ESPN writers wrote up why they ranked the Jaguars where they did and here’s what they had to say:
2016 record: 3-13 (Fourth in AFC South)
AFC South future rank: Fourth
Why they're here: The Jaguars have actively pursued top defensive targets in free agency to supplement a run of major draft investments, building a potentially imposing defense. But unless and until the quarterback issue is solved in Jacksonville, this franchise will have a hard time climbing out of the 20s in this list. Blake Bortles was an unquestionable disappointment in 2016 and now faces a pivotal 2017 season. -- Field Yates
Biggest worry: Bortles has thrown 34 interceptions over the past two seasons, tied for the most in the league, and his 83.4 passer rating ranks 30th overall during the same period. The drafting of RB Leonard Fournette signals an increased emphasis on the ground game in Jacksonville, which should take some of the pressure off Bortles. But until he becomes a better decision-maker, this team will continue to reside in the bottom fourth of the league. -- Louis Riddick
What could change for the better: While there's no sense in expressing optimism over some unknown future starting QB, the Jaguars' No. 30 ranking in QB outlook is going to improve one way or another. Most likely, Bortles is either going to play well enough to keep his job or poorly enough for the team to move on from him following the 2017 season. Either way, the outlook improves. -- Mike Sando
I don’t think I could agree more. The overall roster is a good roster, hampered by the most important position: quarterback. With a decent, productive, risk-averse signal caller, this is a top-10 roster and a playoff contender. With Bortles, it’s a bad team in an underwhelming division.
I would say I’m a little more optimistic about our front office than ESPN, however. After a bad first two seasons in terms of drafting and free agent signings, there seems to be some direction. They’re not afraid to be one of the top spenders in free agency, despite being one of the lowest income-producers in the league.
And I’d definitely be higher on drafting. They’re not a top team in the league, but they’ve learned over the last two seasons to be less risky in “boom or bust” prospects at the top of the draft. I like their last two classes.
What do you think? What would you change, if anything, about these rankings?