The Jacksonville Jaguars have made some serious moves this off season which included a very aggressive approach to free agency and an ambitious draft. Basically the franchise has made a conscious decision to win and win right now. In free agency the team went all out on defense, upgrading an already solid unit with what looks on paper as one of the better defenses coming into the 2017 season, With the draft four of the seven players selected were on the offensive side of the ball. If the Jaguars are serious about making the playoffs the rookies on offense will have to make an immediate impact.
Leonard Fournette, who the Jaguars selected with the fourth overall pick, is someone who is going to be expected to carry a lot of the load at running back right out of the gates. Last season, the Jags had one of the most putrid run games in the league. By drafting Fournette, it’s clear that the team is going to be more committed to the run and Fournette is going to have to be in the right condition, but physically and mentally to take on the challenge.
In the second round, the Jags took OT Cam Robinson from Alabama. They actually traded up to get him, to help the team, who’s offense was stagnant last year for many stretches. We don’t know if Robinson is going to play tackle or guard this season, but it’s expected for him to be a major part of their rotation. He’s a potential future LT, whether he earns the start there or on other parts of the line isn’t known just yet. What we do know is that he’s going to have to make some sort of an impact to help this offense.
In the fourth round the Jags took Dede Westbrook WR from Oklahoma. Though the receiving core is already the strong point on the offense, Westbrook will give QB Blake Bortles another weapon which won’t hurt. The upside to Westbrook is really high and he’s likely going to be given a chance to help this Jaguars offense throughout the season.
The the seventh round the Jags selected FB Marquez Williams from Miami. By using their seventh round pick to swoop Williams, once again shows that the team is going to be focused on the run game. The strategy at this point is to clearly take as much pressure off Blake Bortles as possible and adding Fournette and Williams to the mix will hopefully do just that.
A lot of experts believe that the Jaguars are in a great position to win the AFC South this year. We know their defense is going to make them much more competitive this season, With that said it’s going to be these rookies on offense who are going to have to step up in order to put the team over the top.