The Jacksonville Jaguars had four different players earn Associated Press All-Pro honors in 2017: Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Telvin Smith. Campbell and Ramsey earned first team recognition, while Bouye and Smith were named to the second team.
The Jaguars return all four of those players in 2018, along with the majority of the young nucleus of talent that made up the defensive unit last season. The Jaguars also have some talented offensive pieces in place. That means we should expect to see more Jaguars on the All-Pro list at the end of this campaign. NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison certainly does.
Harrison projects three different Jaguars to make the first-team All-Pro squad in 2018: Ramsey, Smith and Andrew Norwell. Norwell was a first-team All-Pro selection last season as well, but that was in a Carolina Panthers uniform. It was a well-deserved nod for the former undrafted free agent, as Norwell did not allow a single quarterback hit or sack on Cam Newton.
Here is what Harrison had to say about Norwell:
Signing Norwell was a huge move for the Jags. With a possible Super Bowl berth in front of this road grader, I don’t anticipate Norwell’s play will fall off. He lost on football’s greatest stage with the Panthers a few years ago, but since then, he’s turned himself into the best LG in the NFL.
Ramsey is a given. He’s a super-talented player and will be amongst the NFL’s best corners for years to come. Yes, Elliot, he likes to talk a lot:
Other than lacking confidence and being shy, Ramsey owns all the traits of an All-Pro cornerback. OK, maybe not. Ramsey stifles nearly every receiver he lines up against, and he cannot be overpowered by the larger wideouts. He allowed completions on just 51 percent of throws his way in 2017.
Smith is one of the best weak-side linebackers in the game, and it’s nice to see him finally getting recognition from the national media. Here are Harrison’s thoughts on the Florida State product:
The speedy linebacker is a huge piece of the Jaguars’ forceful defense, even if Smith’s name doesn’t ring a bell with the casual fan. He can tackle, cover and create turnovers. His ability to get out in space allows Jacksonville to often just rush the front four. #Underrated
A notable absence from the list is the aforementioned Campbell. In fact, not only did Campbell make the first team last season as an edge rusher, he also made the second team as an interior defensive lineman. Yes, you read that correctly. Harrison currently slots in Cameron Jordan and Von Miller as edge rushers, while he projects Fletcher Cox and Aaron Donald to make it as interior linemen.
I have a feeling that Brandon Linder will also earn an All-Pro spot this season. Younger guys like Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette may find their names on this list before their careers are over as well.
What do you think? How many Jaguars will earn All-Pro honors in 2018, and which players do you expect to accomplish such a feat? Comment below and let us know.