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Jaguars Want Bruising RB Leonard Fournette to Stay Aggressive in 2018

Leonard Fournette was the fourth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and as a rookie he had an immediate impact on the Jaguars’ offense.

During the three-day mandatory work, running back Leonard Fournette, who occasionally had to be told by Bortles where to line up properly during last year’s minicamp, showed that he knows his offensive responsibilities much better now, John Reid of the Florida Times-Union reports.

Asked what’s the biggest stride he would like to see Fournette make before camp opens – offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said consistency.

?We always preach efficiency, efficiency,? Hackett said. ?I think as a young player getting to this level and then he really ran hard and did a really good job. But I think he almost took too many hits. I just want him to be able to understand the system more so he can run even smarter, but still never lose that aggressiveness.?

An Early Guess At Who the Jaguars 2018 MVP Will Be

The Jags have a season starting in less than 100 days, and with a long training camp and season upcoming, there’s plenty of chatter as to what player might shine better than the rest as the teams Most Valuable Player.

An article out on talks about just what player they think will be the MVP for not only the Cats, but for each team around the National Football League for 2018.

The Jaguars MVP – author Dan Hanzus is going with running back Leonard Fournette, a very good player that he sees having a big year in Jacksonville this upcoming season.

Here’s what Hanzus has to say about Tucker this season:

Fournette’s rookie season was a hit-and-miss affair. At times, he looked like the young star the Jags thought they were getting when they drafted him fourth overall. But he also looked slow and hobbled for long stretches, averaging less than 4 yards per carry during the regular season and playoffs. New season, new expectations for Fournette, who must blossom into a dependable stud if Jacksonville is going to take the next step. The addition of mauling guard Andrew Norwell in free agency could be just what Fournette needs. Ground and pound, baby.

What do you think of this pick? Do you agree? Leave a comment if you disagree with what player you think will be the Jags 2018 MVP.

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue Hires Roc Nation and Ari Nissim as New Agents

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has new representation, Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports he’s brought aboard Roc Nation and Ari Nissim as his new agents. Ngakoue had previously employed agent Adisa Bakari.

Ngakoue just wrapped his second NFL campaign, and given league rules stipulate no player can sign a contract extension until after his third pro season, Ngakoue isn’t allowed to receive a new deal until 2019 at the earliest. Because he wasn’t a first-round pick, Ngakoue doesn’t have a fifth-year option attached to his pact, so he’ll base salaries of $735K and $834K over the next two years before hitting free agency.

Those figures are undeniable bargains for Ngakoue, who turned 23 years old earlier this year. The former third-rounder has been exceptional through two seasons in Jacksonville, as he’s posted 20 sacks since 2016, good for 12th in the NFL during that time. While Ngakoue isn’t much of a run defender, his pass-rush prowess enabled him to grade 23rd among all edge defenders a season ago, per Pro Football Focus.

Jaguars Decline 2019 Option on Defensive End Dante Fowler

The Jaguars declined to exercise defensive end Dante Fowler’s 2019 contract option Wednesday, meaning he is scheduled to be a free agent next March, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports.

Among the top 25 picks (as of 4 p.m.), only six first-rounders from 2015 did not have their options picked up: Fowler (No. 3), Chicago’s Kevin White (No. 7), the New York Giants’ Ereck Flowers (No. 9) and New England’s Danny Shelton (originally drafted No. 12 by Cleveland), Kansas City’s Cameron Erving (originally drafted No. 19 by Cleveland) and Denver’s Shane Ray (No. 23).

White has played only five games in three years because of injury, Flowers was replaced by free agent left tackle Nate Solder earlier this off-season and the Broncos drafted Bradley Chubb last week, which could make Ray expendable.

The Jaguars’ decision can be viewed as further proof they will build their pass rush around former third-round pick Yannick Ngakoue, who is eligible for a contract extension after this season. But it doesn’t mean the Jaguars are giving up on Fowler – the sides could come to terms on a new contract before he hits the open market although the choice is now in Fowler’s hands.

Fowler’s fifth-year salary was projected to be $14.2 million had the Jaguars picked up the option. It is the average of the top 10 highest salaries at Fowler’s position and would have been guaranteed for injury only.

Fowler is scheduled to count $7.5 million on this year’s salary cap.

Jaguars Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Jaguars, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

How loaded is that Jags defense? It already had six Pro Bowlers in 2018. Now it has one of the biggest physical freaks in the entire draft with tackle Taven Bryan, whose talent didn’t match his college production. If defensive coordinator Todd Wash can get Bryan close to his ceiling, he could be a steal at pick 29. Jacksonville could move on from Malik Jackson next offseason, and Bryan might be the ready-made replacement.

I liked the pick of safety Ronnie Harrison at 93, and safety is the one spot where this defense isn’t really young and fast. He has been underrated throughout his career, playing on a dominant defense with tons of NFL talent. But he’s physical, and he’ll help in the box. The question was true speed, because we never saw an official 40 time throughout the pre-draft process. Wide receiver D.J. Chark (61) is the best deep threat in this class, but his tape was inconsistent. Was that because of poor quarterback play at LSU? Either way, he could help replace Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. I like outside linebacker Leon Jacobs in the seventh round. He ran a 4.48 40 at the combine at 246 pounds.

I thought Jacksonville should have addressed tight end early, but maybe the staff believes in Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ ability as a blocker more than I do. If this is a team built around the running game, they could have used an upgrade on the edge. All in all, though, this is a terrific haul.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/29 Taven Bryan DT FLORIDA
2/61 D.J. Chark WR LSU
3/93 Ronnie Harrison S ALABAMA
4/129 Will Richardson OT NC STATE
6/203 Tanner Lee QB NEBRASKA
7/230 Leon Jacobs OLB WISCONSIN

Jaguars Pick Florida DT Taven Bryan in the First Round of the NFL Draft

The Jaguars looked to build their defensive line on Thursday night in the NFL Draft, picking DT Taven Bryan in the first round.

The pick from Florida is sure to add even more beef to an already excellent defensive line, and there’s plenty of excitement about the pick of Bryan.

CBS Sport gave the Jags a ‘B+’ for the Pick:

Pete Prisco: Love this pick even with their quality players up front. They can’t pay them all, so a cheap option makes sense. Oh, he can play.

Chris Trapasso: Tantalizing size, athleticism, hand-use combination. Strong against the run. Reminiscent but not to the level of J.J. Watt. Flashes are All-Pro caliber. Needs to improve his overall consistency.

Jaguars Set to Make the Jump to London Full Time? Owner Shad Khan in Talks to Buy Wembley Stadium

Jaguars owner Shad Khan is reportedly in talks to buy Wembley Stadium, England’s preeminent “football” field, according to Jonathan Prynn of The Evening Standard.

The report claims that Khan has agreed to pay more than 500 million pounds ($700 million dollars) tor the stadium, which is known as the home of English soccer and also hosts NFL games on an annual basis. The report indicates that Khan’s ownership would result in more American football games being played at Wembley, and possibly even an NFL franchise in London. Khan has repeatedly shot down talk that he wants to move the Jaguars to London, but talk persists that an NFL team could eventually be located there.

One of the NFL teams that plays annually in London is the Jags but Khan is trying to frame the move to buy Wembley not as an attempt to move his franchise to London but to strengthen the standing of his franchise overall. Khan released the following statement about the purchase: “The Jaguars have played regular season home games at Wembley Stadium in each of the past five NFL seasons and will continue to do so at least through the 2020 season,” Khan said in a statement. “The games the Jaguars play at Wembley are essential to the financial stability of the Jaguars in Jacksonville, which is one of the smallest markets in the NFL. If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would protect the Jaguars’ position in London at a time when other NFL teams are understandably becoming more interested in this great city. And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.”

However strong Khan’s stated commitment is to Jacksonville-and, to his credit, he has poured a lot of money into improving the stadium and shoring up the franchise-Jaguar fans have to be viewing the news about Wembley wthl a strong sense of unease. With this purchase, Khan has clearly staked his claim to London ahead of the other 31 NFL teams and it seems inevitable that the Jaguars will increase their presence there-if one game a year there is so profitable, how about two? Or four? Or basing your operations there permanently.

Jaguars Still Not Sold on Picking Up the 5th Year Option on DE Dante Fowler

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell says the team has made “no decision” on picking up the fifth-year option for defensive end Dante Fowler according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

Fowler’s option is worth $14.2 million in 2019, nearly four times the amount of his base salary this upcoming season. The No.3-overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Florida, Fowler’s rookie season was completely wiped out due to injury but he was able to play full 16-game slates in 2016 and 2017 and produced eight sacks last season.

Discipline and maturity have been consistent issues both on and off the field, however, including multiple arrests. The 23-year-old is facing league discipline stemming from an July 2017 arrest involving Fowler allegedly stomping a man’s glasses and throwing his groceries into a lake. He pled no contest to misdemeanor battery in the case and was sentenced to probation and community service.

While his physical talent is undeniable, on a team loaded with defensive talent the Jags are likely asking themselves if keeping Fowler past 2018 is worth the hassle.

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