The Jaguars roster is, perhaps, the most complete in all the NFL. To suggest that the team has any true weaknesses may be folly. But there are still positions on this roster that might not be up to snuff when compared to the rest of the NFL.
Here I'll look at what I see as the three biggest weaknesses for the Jaguars heading into 2018.
1. Nickel Cornerback
In 2017 the Jaguars 3 deep group at CB was the best in football. With Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye manning the outside and Aaron Colvin running the nickel position the Jaguars were the best pass defense in football. Aaron Colvin is now a Houston Texan and a void at nickel corner has been left in his wake. The Jaguars attempted to replace him in free agency by signing DJ Hayden to a 3 year/$19 million deal. Hayden, a former 1st round pick of the Oakland Raiders, has struggled in the NFL. Injuries and poor play have hampered his progress as an outside cornerback. He was at his best last year in Detroit playing the same role the Jaguars will ask him to play, but he was far from stellar. His five PI penalties and six missed tackles are glaring. On the bright side he's never played with this much talent around him and could see his best season as a pro. Behind Hayden the Jaguars do have several young players that could compete for playing time at the position, but as of now nickel cornerback is easily the worst position on this roster. It's worth noting that the addition of safety Ronnie Harrison in the draft could reduce the importance of having a true nickel on the field in many situations.
2. Right Guard
The Jaguars starting right guard, AJ Cann, has had an up and down NFL career. His 2017 season was no different. Of all the Jaguars offensive lineman he had some of the best individual single game performances last season, but he also had some of the more frustrating ones. While Cann was better in pass protection than he was as a run defender, he was below average in both aspects. The Jaguars did add some potential competition at the position with the addition of Will Richardson in the draft. Richardson is expected to compete at both tackle and guard - if his off the field issues are truly behind him he could compete for a starting job sooner rather than later. Still, at this point the Jaguars have an inconsistent veteran and a rookie with off field issues as potential starters at the position, which doesn't exactly inspire a ton of confidence. Right guard is clearly the weak link on an offensive line that employs LT Cam Robinson, LG Andrew Norwell, C Brandon Linder, and RT Jermey Parnell.
3. Wide Receiver
The Jaguars receiver position is LOADED with potential, but at this point that's all it is. Marqise Lee is the most proven receiver on the roster and he's never caught more than 63 passes for 851 yards in a season. He led the league in drops last season and has a grand total of 8 career receiving touchdowns. But he has displayed, at times, the ability to be an impact player. Donte Moncrief, who the Jaguars signed this offseason to a one year deal worth nearly $10 million, appears to have a ton of potential, but injuries have greatly impacted his career trajectory. At 6'2'' and 220 lbs. Moncrief has the size and deep speed to test defenses. The Jaguars also used their second round pick on the speedy DJ Chark. Chark has more than enough speed to make defenses respect the deep ball, but also has excellent length at 6'3'' tall. Keelan Cole, who was an undrafted free agent in 2017, burst onto the scene last year averaging over 17 yards per catch as a rookie. He has shown the ability to make the spectacular catch and has also shown off his deep speed on more than one occasion. Dede Westbrook showed flashes last season as a rookie after missing over half the season with an abdomen injury. Even Allen Lazard appears to have great potential, despite going undrafted in April's NFL Draft. At 6'5'' and 227 lbs. Lazard looks like a player that can become a legit red zone threat. He's also the most prolific receiver in Iowa State history. So, while there is a ton of potential with this group there's just not enough there to guarantee that they will have a strong year. Of all the position groups on the Jaguars roster WR likely has the lowest floor, but also has an extremely high ceiling in 2018. It could be a boom or bust type position for the Jaguars this season.
Do you agree with my assessment of the Jaguars biggest weaknesses heading into the 2018 season? Let me know in the comments below.
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