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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars have great options at four including trading pick

Jamil King

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Photo by Icon Sportswire

The Jacksonville Jaguars have an intriguing roster. A year removed from very disappointing season they come into this draft with the same potential but new leader. The first draft under new Coach Doug Marrone. We saw him take a QB in his first draft as Bills Head coach in EJ Manuel. This time around things could be different.

With up and down QB Blake Bortles the Jags could attempt to build through him and hope to see his 2015 version. If they can reclaim that then they could have a special team on their hands accompanied by a young and hungry defense. At pick 4 we could see the Jags go in a couple different directions:

 

First the Jags can stay at 4 and address 1 of 2 possible holes on offense running back or tight end. In Bortles defense the Jags rushing attack hasn’t been special ranking 27th in 2015 and 22nd last season. The tandem of  T.J. Yeldon (465 rushing yards) and Chris Ivory (439) didn’t spark as many yards as expected. With pick 4 the Jags can choose from the roll call of prominent running backs: Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffery, and Dalvin Cook. With the ability to add the best back in the class in Fournette, it’s looking like a match made for both sides, and the Jags can give Bortles a much-needed stress reliever and true work horse back.

 

Second, The Jags can address the other need on the offensive end with top tight end prospect O.J. Howard. Howard can do it all block, run, and catch and has the ability to line up on the outside. Howard, Allen Hurns, and Allen Robinson on the field together sure sounds like a problem for AFC South opponents. Julius Thomas last year’s tight end was ranked the 36th best tight end by football outsiders. In 2014 Marrone’s best year in Buffalo, his tight end Scott Chandler, ranked 26h.

Chandler had 497 yards which was 8 more yards than Thomas had in his break out campaign with Denver. The addition of Howard could prompt a spike in the Tight end usage in Jacksonville and lead to the offense getting over the hump and strike for gold in the AFC South.
Finally, everyone’s least favorite: the trade down. While many feel that Bortles may not be the guy, for this scenario, we will say he is, and he will turn back to his 2015 self and lead this team.

So, we will draft around him and trade down.

With the new selection, the Jags can go after an offensive lineman without over drafting and still help Bortles and the offense. With the addition of Branden Albert to go along with Brandon Linder (5th ranked center pro football focus) and LG Patrick Omameh ( No. 19), a good choice will be Forrest Lamp. Lamp, out of Western Kentucky, is regarded as one of the best lineman in this class and can instantly improve the Jags offense. Though not a “sexy” pick this will help stabilize an offense line that ranked as the 22nd best O-Line.

All in all, The Jags have the ability at four or any other pick in this draft to start putting this franchise in the right direction and put their darker yesterdays into brighter tomorrows.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars QB Bortles doesn’t mind you coming over to his place

Florida Football Insiders

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are “riding high” early on in the season after an impressive win against New England. Everyone is obviously loose, because of the success in 2017, and now, back-to-back wins to start this year have given a sense of confidence to the young squad.

An embattled fifth year quarterback Blake Bortles is on a serious uptick in his own playing career. Off yet another surprising game Sunday, where he threw for 376 yards and four scores in the 31 – 20 victory, Bortles has plenty of reasons to smile.

And, unusually, he has plenty of reasons to welcome total strangers who come to his door

Yes. You read that correctly.

Bortles made mention earlier this week about fans and even teammates coming to his house, unannounced, to “say hello,” maybe catch up on some Netflix and of course, talk about the success of the Jaguars.

Okay, we made the Netflix part up.

Still, for an NFL quarterback to make mention that he’s welcoming people to come see him at his home to talk up the team he plays for is definitely unusual.

Bortles elaborated jokingly to the media Wednesday after the Jaguars practice in preparation for their first meeting this season with the Titans:

“It’s a football town that loves their Jaguars, especially when they are playing well. You know, I don’t have a problem having a conversation with somebody at the door.” When asked whether the fans relate to him, Bortles continued, “I feel as though I relate to the city of Jacksonville and the people who live here….I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I feel comfortable here. I’ve made a lot of friends here. Made a lot of good relationships. Really enjoyed being here.”

It’s a very juicy twist to the Bortles soap opera from a year ago, when Jags fans were ready to not only come to his front door, but pack all of his belongings and put them on a moving truck to get him out of town.

Yet, Bortles played steady and at times great football in the 2017 season, including Jacksonville’s stunning AFC divisional playoff win at Pittsburgh last year. He also played well in the AFC Championship Game resulting in a narrow lost to New England.

So, it’s understandable that Bortles has got the Jaguars fans filling up on his bandwagon, yet again.

However, one thing is for sure, in the NFL everything is fleeting and directly related to what you’ve done, lately. And with the Titans having swept the Jaguars a year ago, Bortles and his teammates know they have to get that corrected starting with Sunday’s home game at TIAA Bank Field.

Otherwise, any strangers at the Bortles home, who are decked out in black and teal uninvited, may not be as friendly coming up the driveway next week.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Look who tops debut of our FFI “Power Rankings”

Jamil King

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL and college football in full swing, we have had some surprises and shocks.
The whole state of Florida has gone unbeaten in the NFL.

UCF and USF look like they might be the best college teams in the state.

Blueblood FSU has landed flat on their faces, while Miami and Florida each suffered early season defeats.

A few weeks into the season, here are how things are shaping up with our “Power Rankings.”

5. Miami Hurricanes- The Canes came into the season with high expectations after having one of their best seasons in recent memory in 2017. The year didn’t start how they wanted it to with a severe loss to the LSU Tigers, who look like they might challenge the Tide for the SEC West crown. Miami bounced back with wins against Savanah State and Toledo. They will need QB Malik Rosier to improve if they want to win back to back Coastal titles.

4. Miami Dolphins- Surprise number one, so far, are the Dolphins. The Fins are 2-0 for the first time since 2013. The Dolphins have beat the Titans and Jets, so we can’t put them higher than fourth, but the start is impressive. Miami’s defense has been good, and contributions have come from all over, as we wrote Sunday. Ryan Tannehill has been doing a stable job at QB as well. The Dolphins get the 0-2 Raiders this week before two road games against Foe Tom Brady and the also surprising Bengals.

3. UCF Knights- The “National Champions” check in at the number three spot this week. The Knights have cruised to victory twice so far this season. QB Mckenzie Milton looked unstoppable against the UConn Huskies, but wasn’t at his best against South Carolina State. The Knights got unlucky with Hurricanes again this year and lost out on playing an ACC opponent (North Carolina) yet again. UCF will play FAU this week before finally getting to play a power five school in Pittsburgh at home.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Surprise again, with Tampa Bay at number two. Can you feel the “Fitzmagic?” The Bucs sure can, as the 14 year vet has shredded the Saints and Eagles. The Bucs are at 2-0 for the first time since 2010. Todd Monken has done wonders for the offense with the playcalling, as well. With a Monday night date with the Steelers can the Bus keep it going on National Television?

1. Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags claim the top spot this week coming in at 2-0 as well. The Jags are here partly to last season’s success, but not just that. The defense has done its job so far, but Blake Bortles was on fire vs. the Patriots. If Blake can continue to play the way he did against New England, then this team can become even more dangerous.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Report- Jaguars LT Cam Robinson has torn ACL

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The news is not all good coming out of the Jaguars week two win over the power house Patriots.

Second-year left tackle Cam Robinson suffered a left knee injury in the first quarter and did not return to the game.

And as the NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported first Monday morning, it’s the worst possible news for him:

Tha former second-round pick out of Alabama was anchoring the left side of the line and protecting quarterback Blake Bortles’ blind-side. Jacksonville and coach Doug Marrone were particularly eager to have Robinson develop more with veteran left guard Andrew Norwell, whom the Jags gave a huge contract to in free agency.

Now, Robinson is headed for the IR.

Robinson started all 16 games a year ago, and the first two games this season.

Undrafted four year veteran Josh Wells, took over for Robinson and play the remainder of the game on Sunday.

With the diagnosis of the ACL and Robinson lost for the season, the Jaguars now have to decide whether Wells is the long-term solution, as he’s never started an NFL game before in his career.

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