Despite making it all the way to within a few minutes of the Super Bowl in 2017 the Jaguars had a busy offseason in terms of trying to upgrade their roster. While there was less turnover this offseason for the Big Cats than in years past, there was still a ton of movement. The Jaguars will have several new starters and even more players with specified roles as back ups or specialists.
Which ones will likely have the biggest impact in 2018?
Let's take a look.
1. Andrew Norwell
Andrew Norwell was the jewel of the Jaguars free agent class and was the most coveted offensive lineman in this year's free agent class. As a veteran and a player making an average of over $13 million per year the expectation is certainly that Norwell will help in the run game and in pass protection. The All-Pro left guard should, at the very least, help insure that the Jaguars running game doesn't falter down the stretch, as it did at times in 2017. The combination of LT Cam Robinson, LG Andrew Norwell, and C Brandon Linder should be able to pave the way for the Jaguars running game in 2018.
2. DJ Chark
Despite being a second round pick in last weeks NFL Draft, DJ Chark has a chance to have a profound impact for the Jaguars in 2018. Some will undoubtedly judge him based on his statistics in 2018, but they shouldn't. Chark's biggest impact should come from loosening up defenses with his 4.3 speed and 6'3'' frame. His rare combination of size and speed should make defenses respect the deep ball more than they have against the Jaguars in years past. If he is able to force defenses not to stack the box against the run, allowing Fournette and the rest of the running backs to have more room to work with, then Chark will be well worth the second round pick the Jaguars spent on him. Beyond opening up the run game Chark will likely have a shot at being the Jaguars top returner. He returned two punts for touch downs in 2017 at LSU.
3. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins
The Jaguars haven't had a tight end that threatened defenses down the seam . . . ever. ASJ caught 50 passes in 2018 and has the size, athleticism, and hands to really help the Jaguars open up the middle of the field. His 7.1 yards per catch with the Jets last season leaves a bit to be desired, but if he can be a reliable target for the Jaguars in the 10-20 yard range down the middle of the field, then he'll just be one more option that defenses have to worry about it in 2018.
These three certainly won't be the only new comers that the Jaguars rely on in 2018. DJ Hayden will be asked to play a pivotal role as the team's nickel CB. Former Colt Donte Moncrief is expected to be a starting wide receiver for the Jags. And draft picks Taven Bryan, Ronnie Harrison, and Will Richardson project to have an impact sooner rather than later.
Which player do you expect to have the biggest impact?
Let us know in the comments below!
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