If the Jacksonville Jaguars are to have any success in 2019, it will be because of their defense. Shocking, I know, but that’s where the talent is, according to Pro Football Focus’ annual roster rankings.
The biggest strength? The secondary.
The only elite player in their mind? A defensive lineman?
The biggest question mark? The wide receivers.
It’s a tale as old as long as Dave Caldwell has been the general manager, but it’s interesting to see how Pro Football Focus breaks down each of the 22 projected starters this year.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars
Biggest strength: They might have had a relatively down season in 2018, but the Jags’ strength is undoubtedly their cornerback duo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Over the past three seasons, the pair has earned grades of 90.8 and 90.2, respectively, and they’ve allowed a passer rating of just 66.5 on throws into their primary coverage. They’re arguably the best cornerback duo in the league right now and will be determined to show that 2018 was just a blip on the radar.
Biggest weakness: As things currently stand, the Jaguars’ starting wide receivers are Chris Conley (54.5 overall grade in 2018), Dede Westbrook (71.3) and Marqise Lee, who is coming off a severe knee injury that cost him the entire 2018 season. Outside of those three, there’s also Keelan Cole (59.4), DJ Chark (52.4) and Terrelle Pryor Sr. (56.6). This receiving corps is an obvious weakness for a team that needs to surround quarterback Nick Foles with more weapons.
X factor for 2019: Nick Foles is one of the greatest sporting stories of the past decade, but we still don’t really know who he is as a starting quarterback. Is he the guy we saw in 2013, who earned a 78.2 overall grade and notched a league-best 134.6 passer rating from a clean pocket? Or is he the guy we saw in 2015, who stumbled to a 59.8 overall grade and a No. 34-ranked 81.1 passer rating from a clean pocket? With no top-tier playmaking ability around him, this offense will go as Foles goes in 2019.
Very little about what Pro Football Focus is saying about the Jaguars roster should surprise anyone — but I was a little shocked to see Jalen Ramsey as the fourth highest rated defensive back on the team, behind the likes of A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden, and Jarrod Wilson.
What do you think about these roster rankings? Does anyone deserve higher praise? What about a player you think needs to be taken down a few points? Let us know in the comments below!