When it comes to sports teams that are trapped in an endless limbo of suckitude there are few better examples than the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags have suffered through nearly a decade of uncompetitive play, bad drafting and just plain bad luck while serving as a doormat in the AFC South. 2016 was to be the year that Jacksonville finally turned the corner after a breakout season for young quarterback Blake Bortles who threw for 4,428 yards and a whopping 35 touchdowns. Some were even picking the Jags as a dark horse to go deep into the playoffs but then it all fell apart.
Bortles regressed badly, becoming an erratic turnover machine as the team staggered through a rancid 3-13 campaign that included a nine-game losing streak that cost head coach Gus Bradley his job. There was nothing that worked as planned, even after an offseason influx of defensive talent including former Denver Broncos Super Bowl hero Malik Jackson.
Right after Bradley was canned the team showed signs of life by snuffing out the playoff hopes of the young Tennessee Titans in a 38-17 rout suggesting that better things were on the way. The Jags stayed in house by promoting interim coach Doug Maronne to the top job.
After a productive free agent period that saw the addition of more help on defense led by former Arizona Cardinals lineman Calais Campbell the team could use this week’s draft to add more potency to the offense.
— Jaguars 101 (@Jaguars101) April 9, 2017
The team should use the fourth overall pick on former LSU running back Leonard Fournette, the human bulldozer who could provide an instant boost to the offense by taking a good deal of pressure off of Bortles. As the top-rated runner in the draft, Fournette could give Jacksonville the big play threat in the ground game that they have lacked since the days of Fred Taylor. After grabbing the big guy the Jabs would be wise to add some beef to the offensive line with their later picks.
With Bortles in a make or break year the best thing that Jacksonville could possibly do would be to improve their running game. Not even the great John Elway was able to finally win that elusive Super Bowl ring until the Broncos drafted Terrell Davis.
With an improved defense, fewer turnovers and better clock control – the latter two can be provided by Fournette – the Jags could finally climb out of the division cellar.