The Jacksonville Jaguars finished 1-15 last season, which led to the overdue firing of Head Coach Doug Marrone. Urban Meyer takes over as the Trevor Lawrence era starts for the Jaguars. There’s excitement around the offense for good reason, but the Jaguars’ defense will need to improve in a big way. Last season the Jaguars finished 31st in the NFL in points against (30.8). The defense gave up 30 points or more in nine games, allowed five games with 300 yards passing and five games of 180 yards rushing.
According to new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, the Jaguars’ defensive scheme will likely move to a hybrid system. I believe this bodes well for their best-pressure players like Josh Allen. The former Kentucky Wildcat was effective as a 3-4 rush LB collecting 31.5 sacks and 11 forced fumbles in his college career. In 2019 as a rookie, Allen was voted to the Pro Bowl and All-Rookie team while also setting multiple franchise records. As a rookie, Allen played just 60% of snaps and produced 44 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. The most impressive part is he did that while only starting four games that season.
The injuries last year prevented us from seeing the best version of Josh Allen. I fully expect a different Josh Allen this season. The Jaguars will look to get back to the days they called themselves ‘SACKSONVILLE’ instead of the 2020 season, where no player finished with more than 5.5 sacks. Allen should bounce back, and I could see a double-digit sack season in his future as he brings joy back to dynasty managers.
One of the players I loved in last year’s rookie class also showed in 2019 that he could be effective as an EDGE rusher. The Former LSU Tiger collected 60 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 13.5 tackles for loss. Chaisson, much like Allen, will likely get their chance to rush standing up more this season. They both seem comfortable in that role.
K’Lavon Chaisson only played 51% of snaps last season, collecting just 19 tackles and managing one sack. It’s difficult to sell you on a player that finished as DL187 last season, but there’s upside with Joe Cullen coaching him up. In 2018 as the Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach, he managed to coach three different EDGE rushers to 7 sacks or more. There’s still hope, so don’t cut bait yet on the former LSU pass rusher.
Joe Schobert has been one of the most underrated LBs in fantasy football over the past four seasons. Schobert has collected 130+ tackles in three out of the last four seasons, the only exception was him missing three games in 2018, and he still managed 103 tackles. The Jaguars’ middle linebacker has also been no stranger to impacting plays, either. Over the past four years, he’s registered 9 interceptions and forced fumbles.
The Jaguars have added to their defensive front over the past few seasons, and there should be no reason that Schobert doesn’t continue to produce high-volume tackles consistently. In 2020 Joe Schobert finished as the LB6 with 304.5 fantasy points. He was only five fantasy points shy of being a top 4 LB last season. The Jaguars relied heavily on their best tackling LB, Schobert’s 68.9 defensive snaps per game was ranked fourth amongst all LBs last season.
Dynasty managers were thrilled with the return of the JACK in 2020. Myles Jack bounced back after a roller coaster of a season in 2019 where he only played 11 games and struggled mightily moving to middle linebacker. The addition of Joe Schobert last season allowed Jack to play his natural position, and he didn’t disappoint. In 2019 he turned in an LB95 performance scoring only 138.4 fantasy points. Last season he finished as LB23 with 241.6 fantasy points.
Myles Jack should continue to put up respectable numbers playing alongside Schobert. In 2020 the two accounted for 259 tackles. The upgrades to the defensive front and disguising fronts to confuse offenses should allow Jack to use his speed to make plays all over the field. According to Pro Football Reference, Myles Jack posted his lowest missed tackle percentage of his career (6.3%), only missing 8 tackles.
The Jaguars have struggled to find consistency in their secondary over their past few seasons. One of the truly underrated signings of this off-season was former Chargers safety Rayshawn Jenkins. The former Miami Hurricanes defensive back has steadily improved over his past few seasons and stepped up when Derwin James went down last season. We can’t exactly count on Jenkins being used in the same role as he was in Los Angeles, but he does bring versatility to the safety position, something the Jaguars defense needs. Rayshawn Jenkins played almost 500 snaps in the box last season while also playing well over 100 snaps each at slot corner and free safety.
Rayshawn Jenkins has steadily improved over the past few seasons. He registered a career-high in tackles with 84 and finished as the DB84 on the season. His coverage skills aren’t talked about as much, but he does have eight pass breakups and five interceptions over the past two seasons. This is a situation of a productive player who is nearly free in some of the deeper IDP leagues because he’s not on many people’s radar. If you’re looking for the DB with the best chance to see box snaps for the Jaguars in 2021, my vote would be for Rayshawn Jenkins.
The second-year Jaguars safety had his best season as a pro in 2020, registering 50 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 pass breakups, and one fumble recovery. Wingard played 41% of snaps last season, a big jump from only 18% as a rookie. Andrew Wingard has only started six games over his first two seasons with very little competition; it will be very interesting to see how things shake out with a new coaching staff coming in.
The early depth charts for Jacksonville have Wingard slotted in as the starting free safety. I’m not sold on that, especially with the depth at safety heading into this season. There’s an argument that Wingard isn’t even a top three coverage safety on this team. Wingard is allowing a 114.2 passer rating while in coverage over his first two seasons in the NFL. Dynasty managers should be keeping an eye on the usage of the Jaguars’ safeties over the first few weeks. You can likely find a startable DB on waivers.
The Jaguars selected Syracuse safety Andre Cisco in the 3rd round (65th overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft. Andre Cisco has the best chance to be the deep safety on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Syracuse Orange DB has 13 interceptions over 24 career college games while also collecting 60 tackles in each of his first two seasons. I wrote a deep dive into Andre Cisco’ tape you can see that here.
The Jaguars have a very weak safety group heading into this season. It’s unclear who, if anyone, will be the best safety to the roster for your dynasty teams. This may be a case where there’s no fantasy value from this position with how effective the LBs are at racking up tackles. Andre Cisco was injured and only played two games in 2020. Over his first two college seasons, he managed 12 interceptions and 14 pass breakups. Cisco is incredibly cheap in rookie drafts and can be a nice stash if you’re looking for a cheaper young upside defensive back.
The Jaguars will surely have to improve this season after finishing in the bottom five in nearly all significant defensive categories in 2020. Over this past season, 47.8% of offensive drives against the Jaguars ended in a score. They finished 31st in sacks while allowing a league-leading 517 rushing attempts against them.
The Jaguars’ additions on defense may not look like the most impactful players on paper, but given the current core, I expect them to be much better in 2021. The health of players like Josh Allen and Myles Jack is key to the team’s success. I expect there should be a solid five players that can contribute to your dynasty team this year if all goes right.
As we kick off the 32 teams and 32 days series, be sure to keep an eye out for in-depth analysis for offense and defense for every NFL team. Stay ahead of the competition with all the tools at your disposal, everything from the dynasty GM tool to our recently updated Nerds film room.
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