The vibe around Jacksonville lately has been doom and gloom, and it seems likely that with the team constructed as it currently is that the Jaguars will be fighting uphill battles in most of their games in 2017. But what if some things that Jaguars fans want to happen actually do come to fruition? Here I'll take a look at three dream scenarios for the Jaguars in 2017.
1. Blake Bortles plays okay enough for the Jaguars to win games and compete for a playoff spot, but not good enough for the Jaguars to pass on a QB in the 2018 draft or free agency.
Jaguars fans want to win now. Jaguars ownership wants to win now. The Jaguars front office wants to win now. The Jaguars coaches want to win now.
So, Jaguars fans should hope for Blake Bortles to be mediocre - to not cost the team games, but to be just good enough for the Jaguars run game and defense to control the pace of play. If that happens the Jaguars could compete for a playoff spot and still get a new QB in 2018. The draft appears loaded with truly elite talent at QB and Kirk Cousins appears ready to take his show on the road after some bizarre dealings with the Redskins.
If that scenario plays out for the Jaguars, this franchise could finally be on the verge of turning the corner.
2. Allen Robinson, Telvin Smith, and Marqise Lee all get paid during the season
3 of the Jaguars core players, Allen, Smith and Lee, are all set to be free agents at the end of the 2017 season. The Jaguars would be wise to bring back all three. The team has a number of players that should be considered expendable at the end of 2017 - veterans Paul Posluszny, Marcedes Lewis, and Chris Ivory all come to mind. With the cash the team can save by parting ways with those high priced veterans the Jags can lock down some of their best young players.
The Jaguars haven't had much go right lately, but landing these three talents in the 2014 draft was huge for this franchise. Now, they need to find a way to keep these guys around.
3. The defensive front finally figures out how to get pressure with a four man rush.
The Jaguars pass rush over the last several seasons has, for the most part, been highly unproductive and has certainly been inconsistent on a week to week basis. But the team has invested a top 5 draft pick, two third round picks, and a boat load of cash in to the defensive front. This is the year the Jaguars front four should finally be up to par, but will they be?
If Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, Abry Jones, Dante Fowler and Dawuane Smoot can create a consistent pass rush for the Jaguars then this defense will transform from a good unit to a potentially elite unit that may be able to keep the Jaguars in games and win some, even without solid offensive performances.
Which dream scenario would you be most excited to see for the Jaguars in 2017?
Let us know in the comments below.
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