JAGUARS 2020 OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK
With the news of running back Leonard Fournette being placed on waivers, the team has now lost nearly every player from the 2017 playoff run that concluded in the AFC Championship. The waiving of Fournette comes as a surprise, but the decision has been weighing on the minds of the higher-ups in the organization for some time.
With that said, let’s take a look into the Jaguars’ outlook for the offense in 2020.
To start, second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II is expected to lead the team in the right direction. Now, he isn’t going to lead the franchise to a Super Bowl this season, but his numbers could be decent if he remains healthy the full season. Minshew played exceptionally well after Nick Foles went down during Week 1 last season. Now that the team is his, Jaguars fans are about to get a full dose of what he is really all about.
Sure, Jags fans saw Minshew play last season. But with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden implementing the West Coast style offense this year, the Jaguars’ second-year signal-caller could take the league by storm and put forth a solid season.
3,750+ passing yards seems to be about the right average point for Minshew in 2020. With D.J Chark as his top target at receiver, Minshew is going to make football fun again in Jacksonville.
Plus, Chark could have a big season of his own. After he had over 1,000 yards last season, expect him to have another 1,000-yard campaign in 2020 with anywhere from 7-15 touchdown receptions. Also, at receiver, Dede Westbrook and Keenan Cole could have breakout years. The offensive scheme is going to help the Jaguars wideouts have solid production numbers in 2020. Westbrook could be featured heavily in the slot. Cole will most likely be used as the third receiver in the scheme, but could still produce decent numbers from a reception/touchdown standpoint. And Chris Conley provides big-play potential and leadership. With rookies Laviska Shenault and Collin Johnson looking to make their mark, this group could be one of the major surprises in football.
Looking to the tight ends, Minshew will have Tyler Eifert and James O’ Shaughnessy to help protect in pass blocking and to catch passes over the middle or in the flat.
Eifert, who was signed by the Jaguars in the offseason, is coming off a 43 reception, 436 yards, three touchdown season. Jaguar fans should be excited to see how well Eifert plays for the team and whether or not he can live up to the hype that he once had with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Now to the running back dilemma. The news of Fournette will last for a while, but the team itself has to move on. Veteran tailback Chris Thompson will likely be the featured pass-catching back, with second-year backs Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo competing for carries. Thompson was prolific in Washington for years and still has enough gas to prove he’s worthy of a big role.
As far as the Jaguars’ offensive line goes, the unit upfront will be tasked with protecting Minshew, who was sacked 33 times last season. Heading into the 2020 season, the offensive line will be led by Cam Robinson, Brandon Linder, and Jawaan Taylor. The unit has been a concern for a few seasons, but with Robinson and Andrew Norwell healthy, the offensive line could prove to be sturdy in 2020.
At this point, no one knows just how good or bad this Jaguars team will be, especially on offense. From a production standpoint, many factors lead me to believe this offense will be potent and exciting to watch. But from a win-loss perspective, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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