Are the Jaguars Finally Ready to Compete?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars took huge strides in 2014 as their offense blew up with highlight reel plays coming every week as they dropped bombs on defenses across the league. The defense also seemed to progress slightly and will look to welcome the first round pick from 2015, Dante Fowler Jr. The Jags still looked to be a few years away before free agency, but they finally seemed to win in free agency as they landed multiple big pieces to elevate them into contention for the AFC South crown.

First the Jags landed the crown jewel of free agency in Malik Jackson to play opposite of Fowler on the line to help generate a pass rush while stuffing the run. His addition sealed up the defensive line and allows them to generate a pass rush consitently. They followed up this amazing move with the signings of Tashaun Gipson, the interception king a year ago, and Prince Amukamara who has been a stud when on the field. These two signings instantly boost a leaky secondary that was one of the worst in the league. But they were not finished. Next, they boosted the offense with the signing of Chris Ivory to pair with TJ Yeldon. These two can be a bruising duo to help the development of Blake Bortles after a spectacular year.

This offseason has propelled the Jaguars into the conversation for the winner of the AFC South. Winners are not made in March, but they have added solid pieces that can help the talet that was already on the team. With a solid draft, the Jags can be a serious threat in the playoffs as they have the ability to run the ball in bad weather or bomb it deep to take advantage of bad secondaries. The one thing left for them to ace this offseason , is the draft. If they can get some help on the offensive line and grab maybe one more secondary piece, they will be a serious threat in the playoffs.

Perhaps the best scenario for the Jags in the draft would be to go:

RD 1: LB Myles Jack

RD 2: OG Vadal Alexander

RD 3: CB Jonathan Jones

This type of draft would give the Jaguars several players that can make an impact now. Jack would give them an athletic linebacker that can make plays all over the field. He fits perfectly into the leadership role the Gus Bradley places on his linebackers. Alexander can slide right in and play guard from day one. With the release of Zane Beadles, they will have a spot for him and he can come in and move the line. He is strong and has great size to hold his own. Jones brings in more athleticism to the secondary. He has blazing speed but also is not scared to come up and hit. He is smooth in coverage and strong with 19 reps in the bench press. He should fit right into the mentality of the Jags defense.