Jacksonville Jaguars Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Taking a quarterback in the 1st round of NFL drafts is a big gamble. Names like Manziel, Manuel, Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, Tebow are all examples of 1st Round draft picks and gobs of money…..gambled away. Jacksonville used their 3rd overall pick on QB Blake Bortles in the 2014 NFL Draft, and their gamble is paying off. Their season record for 2015 doesn’t show it ( 5-11), but they have something good started and they will build on it in 2016.
2016 Team Outlook– The Jaguars were not a challenger for the AFC South division in 2015, but they are an interesting sleeper team in 2016. Jacksonille shares the division with Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Jags have plenty of pieces in place on their offense, but their defense ranked 26th last year, 31st vs the pass. If the Jaguars are to compete in the AFC South, they need a solid draft in April, aimed right at their defense.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-
QB– On January 5, 2014, Bortles announced that he would forgo his senior season of collegiate eligibility at UCF and entered the 2014 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Jaguars third overall. In only his 2nd year in the NFL, Bortles ranked #3, only behind Cam Newton (#1) and Tom Brady (#2). Bortles ended 2015 with 4428 passing yard and 35 touchdown passes. He also added 310 rushing yards (6th best in the NFL for QBs) and 2 rushing TDs. Fantasy football owners can still wait to the later rounds to get Bortles, and Utter-Fantasy doubts that he disappoints in 2016.
RBs– The Jags drafted Alabama-alum RB TJ Yeldon with their 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Some may argue that there may have been better running backs on the board for Jacksonville. Arizona’s running back David Johnson ranked #8 RB at the end of 2015, while Yeldon ended at #28. Arizona Cardinals GM said it is “scary” how good RB David Johnson can be, who was the 8th RB selected in 2015 Draft & 50 picks after TJ Yeldon. T.J. Yeldon was consistent as a rookie, despite scoring just three total touchdowns. With a solid offense around him, Yeldon needs establish himself as a solid RB2 in 2016. Do not draft early in fantasy football drafts next September. UPDATE: former Jet Chris Ivory signed 5-year deal w/ JACK.
WRs– In Week 13 vs the Tennessee Titans, Jaguar’s wide receiver Allen Robinson reached 1,000+ receiving yards. When the Jaguar’s wide receiver Allen Hurns also reached 1,000+ receiving yards in Week 16 of the NFL 2015 season, he helped the team get its first 1,000-yard receiving duo since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell did it in 2001. Only the duo of NYJ Brandon Marshall and NYJ Eric Decker had better season statistics for same team wide receivers in 2015. Both are legitimate top 10-15 fantasy football WR prospects for 2016.
TEs– I get really skeptical when players move from a team with a great offense, and are considered great players rather than products of that great offense. RB DeMarco Murray is a good example. Now he may still be great, but my arthritic grandfather could have run through the holes made by the great Dallas O-Line in 2014, and there was no way I was drafting Murray high in 2015, now in Philadelphia. TE Julius Thomas came from Denver, a great offense in 2014, and I warned fantasy football owners, not to draft him early. With only 2-3 productive games recorded in 2015, I warn again.
K– The Jaguars went into 2015 with both Josh Scobee and Jason Meyers and both players had good preseasons. The Steelers later acquired K Josh Scobee from the Jaguars in exchange for a 6th round pick in the 2016 NFL draft after
PITT K Garrett Hartley suffering a potentially serious injury in the third preseason game. Myers ended 2015 as the #15 place kicker in thec NFL and will get competition in the pre-season.
DEF– The Jaguars gave up the 2nd most points (448) to opposing teams in 2015. New Orleans gave up the most (476). Jacksonville’s pass defense ranked next to last. Improving this defense has to be the Jaguars #1 priority this off season, if they have any hope of competing with Colts and Texans.
2015 Jacksonville Fantasy Surprises– For the past 5 years, no Jacksonville player had ended a season ranking in the top 40 among NFL wide receivers, except WR Cecil Shorts in 2012, at #22. In 2015 however, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns were both in the top 15…..( Robinson #4 & Hurns #14). QB Bortles was the biggest surprise, ranking as the #3 quarterback for 2015.
2016 Free Agents that Jacksonville Needs to Address- TE Marcedes Lewis, WR Bryan Walters, TE Clay Harbor, QB Chad Henne (Re-signed 2-year, $8M deal), DE Ryan Davis (RFA), C Stefen Wisniewski, P Bryan Anger, DE Andre Branch, DT Abry Jones (RFA), OT Sam Young, DT Abry Jones (RFA)
2016 NFL Draft– Like 2015, the immediate needs of Jacksonville is everywhere on defense. The Jags are in dire need of a safety., a center and outside linebackers. JACKSONVILLE’S 2015 DRAFT
Did You Know– Due to the original Jaguars logo looking too much like the logo for the Jaguar automobile, an agreement was worked out where Jaguar would be the official automobile of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Team Home Page: www.jaguars.com
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS