The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We are getting things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. We have already previewed the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. And that means the Jacksonville Jaguars are now in the spotlight.
We’re not going out on a limb when stating that this was one of the more disappointing teams in the league in 2016. And it was a mistake-prone offensive unit spearheaded by quarterback Blake Bortles that proved to be the main culprit. But lost in the team’s dreadful 3-13 season was the Jacksonville Jaguars’ improvement on the defensive side of the ball. The club ranked sixth overall in total yards allowed, a dramatic jump from 24th the previous year. The additions of Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and rookies Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack all proved to be solid acquisitions.
However, the signing of defensive end Calais Campbell may tie this entire group together. The former second-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals can play both inside and outside but will be paired with Dante Fowler Jr. as the starting defensive ends. Campbell (8 sacks in ’16) was part of an Arizona team that led the NFL with 48 sacks and finished second in total defense in 2016. And he brings some solid leadership to Doug Marrone’s squad.
The Jacksonville Jaguars also added strong safety Barry Church (Dallas Cowboys) and cornerback A.J. Bouye (Houston Texans) to the back end of this group. Both figure to make their share of contributions. But Campbell may be one of the league’s best offseason pickups by any NFL team.