Last Updated: August 11th at 11:21pm ET.
Jaguars Offensive Profile Under Doug Marrone
2017-2018 Pass Attempts Rank: 21st, 19th
2017-2018 Rush Attempts Rank: 1st, 12th
2017-2018 Play Volume Rank: 1st, 20th
2017-2018 Yards Per Play Rank: 12th, 30th
Unaccounted for Targets from 2018 (Rank): 257 (3rd)
Unaccounted for Carries from 2018 (Rank): 274 (1st)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Nick Foles
RB: Leonard Fournette
WR: D.J. Chark
WR: Chris Conley
SLWR: Dede Westbrook
TE: Geoff Swaim
LT: Cam Robinson
LG: Andrew Norwell
C: Brandon Linder
RG: A.J. Cann
RT: Jawaan Taylor
Jaguars Passing Game
The Jaguars turned the page on Blake Bortles to go all in on Nick Foles, signing the Super Bowl 52 MVP to a four-year, $88 million deal after hiring ex-Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo as OC. Foles goes from a supremely talented Philly offense to a run-first Jacksonville team short on established playmakers. Long a high-variance passer with high highs but low lows, Foles’ best performances tend to happen with a lead, where Foles’ 8.0 yards per attempt dwarf his 6.3 YPA when trailing, and Foles’ TD-to-INT ratio is 29:9 versus 24:18 coming from behind. Foles adds nothing with his legs and offers minimal season-long upside, but he carries some QB2/3 best-ball juice with solid job security and spiked-week potential in comfortable environments, which historically most often occur with his team ahead on the scoreboard. Jacksonville’s defense is good enough to put Foles in a healthy dose of playing-ahead situations.
Dede Westbrook emerged as Jacksonville’s No. 1 receiver in his sophomore campaign, leading the team in targets (101), catches (66), yards (717), and receiving scores (5) amid horrific quarterback play. A T.Y. Hilton clone with 4.44 speed and vertical ability out of the slot, Westbrook gained 90% of his 2018 yards on interior routes and shined with the ball in his hands by averaging 14.0 yards per punt return with a Week 15 74-yard score. No stranger to force feeding slot receivers, Foles targeted Nelson Agholor second most behind only Zach Ertz the past two years in Philadelphia, and Tavon Austin was Foles’ most-targeted receiver in 11 starts for the 2015 Rams. With the Jaguars missing the NFL’s third-most targets from last year’s team, Westbrook has a great chance to further ascend as a third-year breakout receiver.
A motley crew will vie for Jacksonville’s two perimeter openings headlined by Marqise Lee, who signed a four-year, $38 million extension last offseason only to tear his ACL and suffer further ligament damage in the third preseason game. Lee was unable to practice at all during camp, however — preventing him from carving out chemistry with his new quarterback — while D.J. Chark and Chris Conley received starter treatment in August. Keelan Cole was a colossal 2018 disappointment, getting benched at midseason for drops and fumbles. Second-round deep threat Chark moved up the depth chart, then suffered a six-week quad injury that effectively ruined his year. Journeymen Conley and Terrelle Pryor are also in the mix for snaps. If Cole can clean up his ball security, he maintains the highest ceiling of the group.
The Jaguars overhauled their tight end room, signing ex-Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim to a two-year, $6.6 million deal and drafting Josh Oliver in the third round. Swaim shared time with Blake Jarwin in Dallas last season before breaking his wrist in Week 12. Across 37 NFL appearances, Swaim has the same number of career 50-yard games as touchdowns (1). Albeit as a long-shot rookie, Oliver offers more receiving upside after catching 98 passes as a slot tight end at San Jose State and running 4.63 at 6-foot-5, 249 in Indianapolis. Swaim’s blocking acumen keeps him as the favorite for early-season snaps.
Jaguars Running Game
Leonard Fournette’s sophomore NFL season was turbulent, beginning with a Week 1 hamstring strain that cost him two games. He aggravated the injury in Week 4 and was shut down through the Jaguars’ Week 9 bye. Fournette exploded for 358 yards and five TDs on 80 touches in Weeks 10-12, only to get into a fistfight in the third game, drawing a one-game suspension. He was mysteriously benched at halftime of Week 15 and missed Week 17 with a foot injury. Over his last three football seasons, Fournette has missed 14-of-44 games with hamstring, quad, foot, and ankle injuries, and two more for conduct. He hasn’t stayed healthy since his sophomore year at LSU. Nevertheless, Fournette’s extreme-volume upside keeps him third-round worthy in season-long drafts. Even including games he’s left early, Fournette has averaged 21.9 career touches with 16 touchdowns in 21 NFL appearances. Fournette stands to benefit from Nick Foles’ passing-game upgrade on Blake Bortles, and the Jaguars are destined for better injury health up front after losing 4-of-5 offensive line starters to injured reserve last year.
Alfred Blue and RyQuell Armstead are the top candidates to back up Fournette, their notability raised by Fournette’s injury history. Blue’s one-year, $895,000 deal isn’t enough to prevent him from getting cut before Week 1, although the perpetual coaching-staff favorite quietly ranks top 25 in the NFL in carries over the last five years. With 4.45 jets at 5-foot-11, 220, Armstead’s Speed Score lands in the 92nd percentile. His skill set is reminiscent of C.J. Anderson’s without the passing-game chops after Armstead managed 29 catches in 47 college games. Nevertheless, he is a higher-ceiling handcuff option than Blue.
2019 Vegas Win Total
This year’s Jags have a Win Total of 8.0 games, a number the organization has reached exactly once in the last eight seasons. Last year’s club went 2-6 in one-score games and was devastated by injuries on offense, losing 4-of-5 offensive line starters to I.R. and projected top receiver Marqise Lee and projected top rusher Leonard Fournette for 24 combined games. The 2019 Jaguars face the NFL’s 11th-toughest schedule based on Opponent Win Totals. Although I’m not writing off the Jaguars bouncing back with more-stable quarterback play and everyone important on defense returning except WLB Telvin Smith (personal), I’m still viewing them as a 6-8 win team rather than a 7-9 win one. I’ll go under by a hair.