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Early 2023 NFL power rankings

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NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, to win Super Bowl LVII and wrap up the 2022 NFL season. The next league year officially begins at the start of free agency on March 15.

To get a feel for how the Jacksonville Jaguars are viewed around the league before eventual offseason roster changes, here’s a look at “way-too-early” national media power rankings for next season.

Note: the Jaguars have the ninth-best odds (+2800) to win Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Athletic: 5

From Bo Wulf:

It’s a projection game outside the clear top four and we’re betting on quarterbacks. In Year 2, Trevor Lawrence went from OK to very good. Hurts might be sui generis, but one need only look at his 2022 season for an indication of how much of a leap a talented third-year quarterback can make in his second season in a scheme with a coach who knows what he’s doing. Lawrence won’t have A.J. Brown to help him out, but Jacksonville gets to beat up on a weak division and has the pieces on defense to turn into a top-10 group. Buy stock now.

NFL: 7

From Dan Hanzus:

Did the Jaguars get it right with Travon Walker? The sample size (17 games, including the playoffs) is obviously minute, but things aren’t looking hot at the moment. Walker, picked first overall in last April’s draft, posted pedestrian numbers as a rookie, while Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner — picked at Nos. 2 and 4, respectively, behind Walker — announced themselves as immediate difference-makers and potential superstars. “It was a growing year,” Walker said. “This year was basically just getting a feel for things. ... I will definitely still be rushing the passer, for sure, just at a different level.” That will be the expectation for Walker in Year 2.

FOX Sports: 8

From David Helman:

Quite a jump for a team that picked No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that’s understandable when Trevor Lawrence played up to his draft slot. Combine his trajectory with a great coach in Doug Pederson and a weak division, and it’s easy to keep Jacksonville in the playoff picture.

NBC Sports Boston: 9

From Darren Hartwell:

The Jags in the top 10 of an NFL Power Rankings? You’d better believe it. Trevor Lawrence looks like a legitimate franchise quarterback under head coach Doug Pederson, and there’s still room for improvement in 2023 if running back Travis Etienne can stay healthy. Jacksonville has the fourth-least cap space of any team, so improving the NFL’s 24th-ranked defense may prove challenging for GM Trent Baalke. But this team isn’t too far away from serious contention.

Pro Football Network: 9

From Dalton Miller:

The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the way up. Trevor Lawrence looks the part of an upper-echelon franchise QB in the making, and Doug Pederson has turned an impossibly bad culture into a great locker-room environment.

Jacksonville spent good money in the offseason, and they hit on the pieces they purchased. If they improve their secondary just a bit, they could end up being one of the more dangerous teams in the NFL.

Calvin Ridley, should he be reinstated, adds another route-running element to a precise passing attack. They’ll be a difficult offense to slow down with a healthy Lawrence under center.

ESPN: 10

From Michael DiRocco:

The Jaguars are $30.1 million over the salary cap. GM Trent Baalke is going to have to make some cuts (CB Shaquill Griffin is almost certainly one) and restructure some contracts to get under the cap. Getting this done will make re-signing TE Evan Engram and possibly RT Jawaan Taylor a little easier, though expect the Jaguars to be careful with how much money they’re pushing into the future because they’ll need to start at least talking about a long-term deal for QB Trevor Lawrence after the 2023 season.

Yahoo Sports: 10

From Frank Schwab:

The Jaguars spent big last offseason and they’re not in great cap shape to do much more this offseason. That’s OK, because the shrewd move to trade for Calvin Ridley — ahead of a pretty soft receiver free-agent market — is Jacksonville’s big offseason addition.

Touchdown Wire: 10

From Mark Lane:

Trevor Lawrence grew into his own throughout the 2022 season, and the worst part for opposing AFC South fans is he also has a proven coach to go with him. The way the Jaguars stole the division from the Tennessee Titans in the last five weeks was emblematic of the power transfer for the next four years, not just the end of the 2022 season. What Jacksonville has to figure out now is how to be in the same class as Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Buffalo.