Can Nick Foles turn the offense around?
Blake Bortles hasn’t been a great quarterback throughout his career and he might have even cost them a shot at the SuperBowl in 2017. This offseason, they finally made a much needed quarterback change with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Expectations will certainly be high with Foles set to receive $88 million over the next four years. The man he’s replacing in Bortles was close to a sister last year. He complete 60.3% of his passes for only 2,718 yards. More concerning was potentially his lack of decision making; he threw for 13 TDs compared to 11 interceptions.
Foles will immediately bring in a winning culture after winning the Super Bowl just two years ago. While he isn’t an elite option or franchise quarterback, he’ll make a great signal caller for the win now Jaguars. In just five games in 2018, Foles threw for 1,413 yards and 7 TDs. In a full season as a starter, I’d easily project him for a 3,500 passing yard season with 24 TDs. He’s an instant upgrade over Bortles and will look to find success as the opening day starter after serving as Carson Wentz’s backup the past few years.
What can we expect from the Jaguars’ young receivers?
With Donte Moncrief now in Pittsburg, it’s now time to see whether the Jaguars’ young receiver can step up. This will definitely be a growing year for third year receiver Dede Westbrook and sophomore DJ Clark who will take over as the 1st and 3rd wideuts on the depth chart, respectively. They’ll also receive help from Marquis Lee who missed all of last season due to an ACL injury. Lee’s the most experienced receiver in the group but jacksonville may choose to limit his snaps as he works his way back into the rotation.
Westbrook led the Jaguars last year with 717 receiving yards and 5 TDs. Meanwhile, Clark wasn’t given many opportunities but still managed 174 yards in only 14 receptions. Both receivers will look for more production as they step into bigger roles with a more competent QB. Westbrook will likely be the most reliable target for Foles who joins Jacksonville after a successful campaign with Philadelphia. Clark will likely start at the slot position and should see a lot more targets than last season. Whatever the case may be, look for at least one of the pairs to breakout and become Foles’ primary target.
How much better will Jacksonville’s defense improve with Josh Allen?
Even with one of the best defenses in the league, the Jaguars wanted to get even better. They drafted Josh Allen, not to be mistaken with the Buffalo Bills quarterback with the same name, with the 7th overall pick in this past draft. While many projected Allen could go anywhere from 3-6, he instead fell to the Bills at 7 and will immediately give them another great pass rusher. Whether you want him to pressure the quarterback, stop running backs, or drop back in coverage, he can do it all.
Jacksonville’s front four should be a force to be reckoned with. Allen will join the defensive end unit with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue who are both widely talented in their own right. Up the middle, the Jaguars feature Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones who will be a great presence in the running game. The five of them should form a very solid core that will once again make the Jaguars one of the best defenses in the league.