The Jaguars only had . . . zero . . . Pro Bowler's in 2016.
The Jaguars poor performance as a team and on the offensive side of the ball was certainly to blame for no Jaguars getting voted in to the Pro Bowl, despite several players having impressive seasons.
Here we'll take a look at the five Jaguars that have the best chance of reaching the Pro Bowl in 2017.
1. Malik Jackson - Jackson was deserving of the Pro Bowl in 2016, and several seasons prior. The 27 year old defensive tackle has yet to be voted in to the Pro Bowl despite being one of the most effective and productive interior pass rushers in all of football over the last half decade. In 2016 he got pressure on the QB 12.7% of the time. Compare that to the league average for DTs which is only 7% over the last five seasons (according to Pro Football Focus) and you begin to realize the type of performer Jackson is. He got off to a slow start by his own standards in 2016, but Jackson became a vocal leader for the team by season's end and recorded the fourth most sacks of any DT in football. Jackson is surrounded by better talent this year and should be more acclimated to his role on the defensive line and as a leader heading into 2017. He has national name recognition from his time in Denver and if he performs similarly or better than he did in 2016 Jackson is likely to make his first trip to . . . Orlando. Yep, the Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando again this year. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Honolulu, does it?
2. Jalen Ramsey - Another Jaguar that may have been deserving of a Pro Bowl nod last year. Over the last half of the season - in particular the final four games - Jalen Ramsey was an absolute monster. He lead the league in pass breakups by a rookie and ended up with positive marks in both pass coverage and run defense according to PFF. He's an Alpha Dog that's as physical as they come. He revels in the game within the game - The mental side of things. He was able to get under Steve Smith's skin in just his fourth game as a pro and had a couple of outstanding battles with division rival DeAndre Hopkins. Ramsey appears to be the perfect combination of size, speed, agility, and aggressiveness for the modern CB position in the NFL. He can run with any receiver yet arrives with authority in run defense. With the newly acquired AJ Bouye playing opposite Ramsey, it'll be difficult for offenses to intentionally stay away from Jalen, which should allow him to make some big plays. Ramsey may have the brightest star of any young CB in the league and if he is able to improve on his rookie numbers then he could very well make the Pro Bowl this season.
3. Calais Campbell - By all accounts Campbell is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro. He became a household name (at least among NFL fans) for leading a Cardinals defense over the pas several years that has been one of the league's most feared units. Campbell was voted a top 100 player by his peers and according to PFF was the 22nd best player in the entire NFL in 2017. He'll be surrounded by talent all over the defense and should shine as an edge player on first and second down and as an interior pass rusher on third. Playing with Malik Jackson, Abry Jones, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler could see Campbell's sacks stats improving in 2017. Campbell missed out on the Pro Bowl last year despite having what many people believe was his finest season as a pro. He'll look to get back to the Pro Bowl for the third time in 2017.
4. Brandon Linder - Brandon Linder has been by far the Jaguars most consistent offensive player over the last several years. That is, when he's on the field. Linder has been oft injured since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2014, but if he can put together a healthy season for the Jaguars in 2017 he might just earn his first Pro Bowl. He earned the fifth highest PFF grade of any center in 2017 and was equally proficient in run and pass blocking situations. It's hard for a center from a small market to make the Pro Bowl without the team having major success, but Linder began to establish his brand nationally in 2016 with his stellar play. Keep an eye on Linder as a legitimate Pro Bowl candidate.
5. Allen Robinson - This would be the first Jaguar to be a repeat Pro Bowler since Maurice Jones-Drew. Robinson, like the rest of the Jaguars offense, had a disappointing 2016 campaign and will look to rebound in a big way this season. He's known by football purists and fantasy footballers alike for his remarkable 2015 season in which he racked up 1,400 yards and 14 TDs on his way to the Pro Bowl. Robinson is self motivated and will likely have a big bounce back in 2017 with what should be an improved offense all around. His massive catch radius, strong hands, and improved route running will serve him well. Even if Bortles struggles Robinson will get his targets and if he takes advantage at anywhere close to the rate he did two seasons ago then he'll likely make his second Pro Bowl.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comment section below.
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