Say what you want about Pro Football Focus, but the best players usually find their way onto this annual list. Let's take a look at what PFF had to say about the five Jaguars that made the list.
Calais Campbell came in at number nine on the list and was the highest Jaguar. Here's what PFF said about Campbell, who finds himself:
No new acquisition made a bigger impact on his new team than Calais Campbell, who helped transform the Jaguars’ defense into one of the game’s most formidable units. Campbell was an interior player entirely for the Cardinals, playing more 3-technique than any other position, but for the Jaguars he transitioned to an edge defender primarily and generated 73 total pressures and 28 defensive stops in the run game. Campbell was dominant throughout the season and had the best season of his career in a new environment.
PFF Elite Stat: Campbell tied teammate Yannick Ngakoue with dual pass-rush productivity scores of 12.8, but Campbell (28) severely out-produced Ngakoue (5) in run stops.
Campbell's arrival in Jacksonville and the team's emergence as an elite defense go hand in hand. Campbell was one of the very best in the NFL this year.
The next Jaguar to make the list came in at number 13. Here's PFF's take on Jalen Ramsey, who made the list in just his second year in the league:
Jalen Ramsey flashed ability over his rookie season and ended the year on a hot streak before carrying that into his sophomore campaign and playing like an All-Pro cornerback for the entire year. Ramsey allowed just 51.1 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught and he was targeted plenty, with 92 balls coming his way over the regular season alone. Ramsey also came up big at the most important moments, picking Ben Roethlisberger off the first time the two sides played and then sealing the win against Buffalo in the playoffs with a key interception and allowing a passer rating of just 18.8 in that game.
PFF Elite Stat: Ramsey ranked 13th among cornerbacks in passer rating allowed (63.9) in the regular season.
The third Jaguar, cornerback AJ Bouye, didn't pop until number 48. He made the list for the second consecutive season:
Jacksonville’s defense was phenomenal this season, and while the defensive front earned them the nickname ‘Sacksonville,’ the coverage on the back end may have been even more impressive. Jalen Ramsey broke out into a stud, but free agent acquisition A.J. Bouye proved that last season’s breakout year was no fluke. He was targeted 84 times this season and his passer rating allowed was eight points lower than if the opposing quarterbacks had just thrown the ball at the dirt 84 times instead.
PFF Elite Stat: Bouye led cornerbacks this year with a passer rating allowed of 31.6.
Telvin Smith came in at number 57 and is featured on this list for the first time in his career:
Jacksonville’s Telvin Smith realized his athleticism this season and was one of the league’s best run defenders over the course of the year. Smith topped 50 defensive stops in the regular season, adding another 14 in the three playoff games. His coverage was solid if not spectacular but his PFF run-defense grade of 94.1 led all linebackers.
PFF Elite Stat: Smith was 13th among linebackers with 33 total run stops during the regular season.
And the final Jaguar on the list is Malik Jackson came in at number 94. It's his third appearance:
Calais Campbell was the big-money free agent move last offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the play of Campbell and A.J. Bouye got a lot of press, but last year’s big spend was also having an excellent season in the shape of Malik Jackson. He ended the year with 64 total pressures, including three playoff games in which he generated multiple pressures in each game.
PFF Elite Stat: Jackson ranked 10th in PFF’s pass-rush productivity (9.1) among interior defenders with at least 140 pass-rush snaps.
The Jaguars were well represented on this list for the first time . . . ever. There is no question that the Jaguars defense was one of the elite units in all the NFL this year. Next season the Jaguars will work to get some players on the other side of the ball onto the list.
There are several notable snubs from the Jaguars roster not on this list. The most glaring: Yannick Ngakoue who, as a second year player, led the NFL in forced fumbles and recorded 12.5 sacks.
Do you agree with PFF's rankings? Let us know in the comments below.
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