By David Martin
The Jaguars currently have the second-longest odds to win their division, ahead of the Houston Texans (+3000). But there’s at least a reasonable path for Jacksonville to become this year’s version of the 2021 Bengals and go from bottom-feeders to playoff contenders.
Pro Football Focus polled coaches, executives and scouts around the NFL earlier this offseason to find out which passer from the 2021 NFL Draft class they expected to emerge as the best quarterback after this season, and Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence came out No. 1 over Mac Jones, Trey Lance, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills and Justin Fields. It was nearly unanimous.
Much of the turmoil that surrounded Jacksonville last season should be gone with ex-head coach Urban Meyer fired. The Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to take his place and spent a record amount in a free-agency frenzy, adding wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram, guard Brandon Scherff, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, cornerback Darious Williams and defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi. You can question how Jacksonville spent cap space, but the team certainly added more talent to a depleted roster.
The Jaguars also don’t exactly play in the most difficult division.
“The AFC South is wide open for Jacksonville,” an NFC analytics executive said this offseason.