Over the last several weeks Pro Football Focus has been releasing team rankings in different aspects of the game. To this point they've graded offensive lines and pass rushes. The Jaguars came in at 15 and 2 respectively. I highly doubt that the Jaguars offensive line - with the addition of Andrew Norwell at guard, the return of Brandon Linder and Jermey Parnell, and the expected emergence of Cam Robinson - will be ranked so low by season's end.
As for the Jaguars pass rush, they're called Sacksonville for a reason. While I'm sure many would argue that they should be number one, the Eagles hold that distinction, and for good reason - they're pass rush was able to fluster Tom Brady and Co. in the Super Bowl, something the Jaguars failed to do in the AFC Championship.
PFF's latest set of rankings looks at run defenses around the NFL. The Jags' run defense came in at seven - a (somewhat) surprisingly high number considering the Jaguars finished 21st in the league last year in yards per game allowed on the ground.
Here's what PFF had to say about the Jaguars run defense entering the 2018 season:
7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
There are some very valid points here. Telvin Smith and Calais Campbell were both fantastic against the run in 2017 and should continue to be stalwarts in run defense moving forward. Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, and Abry Jones are also solid run defenders. Myles Jack, Dante Fowler Jr., Barry Church and Jalen Ramsey are all quality players against the run as well.
The Jaguars run defense did improve, somewhat, throughout last season and was stout enough during their three game playoff run. Still, for a team that allowed 120 yards per game on the ground over the last six regular season games in 2017, seven might be a bit rich.
The continued development of young defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler and Dawuane Smoot combined with the addition of Taven Bryan via the draft could see the Jaguars defensive line improve against the run, but with uncertainty at the strong side linebacker spot I wouldn't rank the Jaguars run defense quite this high. The team certainly has the talent to finish with the seventh best run defense (or even higher) in 2018, but they need to prove that they're dedicated to stopping the run week in and week out before I'll give them as much credit as PFF currently is.
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