2007 Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

2007 Jacksonville Jaguars preview from Maddux Sports. Don't miss out on a winning campaign. Purchase Expert NFL picks from our handicappers. Our information will help you beat the oddsmakers NFL odds this season.

Upgrading Defense Despite Questions at Quarterback
By Adam Barone

Though the Jags had what could be called a “satisfying” draft, they left one major issue unresolved. That issue being their quarterback position, where Byron Leftwich will most likely be the starter, but his durability is a major issue. Leftwich played only 6 games in 2006 and was spelled by David Garrard, who was decent, but far from spectacular. Considering Leftwich's injury-riddled history and Garrard's mediocrity despite substantial experience subbing for Leftwich, there is little reason for the offense to be optimistic about the 2007 NFL season. Adding to the tension, head coach Jack Del Rio was rumored to have been interested in drafting Brady Quinn with their first round selection, #21 overall, once Quinn unexpectedly plummeted from the top 10, but team brass had other ideas.

Though they selected a player who was undoubtedly deserving of being taken in the first round (Florida S Reggie Nelson), filling a position where was little debate was a need, the Jaguars strangely put a priority on addressing a defense that ranked 2nd overall in the NFL in 2006. They ranked 4th against the pass and 10th against the run, which makes the choice of ball-hawking defensive back Nelson over the highly touted Quinn, likely a future cornerstone of a presently struggling offense, a head-scratcher. Nevertheless, Nelson should be a more-than-solid NFL player, likely earning the starting free safety job as a rookie. If he's not the free safety right away he'll still see time, in all probability at nickel back in passing situations.

The Jags relied heavily on their ground game in '06, ranking 3rd overall in the NFL with 2541 yards rushing. Fred Taylor and surprise rookie Maurice Jones-Drew each had solid seasons, especially considering how much the passing game struggled, with Taylor juking his way to 1146 yards with 5 TD's and Jones-Drew plowing through tacklers for 941 yards with 13 TD's. They formed a tandem similar to that of RB's Julius Jones and Marion Barber in Dallas, one (Taylor) providing the big play capability between the 20's and the other (Jones-Drew) getting the red zone and goal line carries. The fact that Taylor made it an entire season without missing major time due to injury was nothing short of shocking, and should not be expected to happen again now that he's 31. Expect to see Jones-Drew begin to carry more of the load, something that he has proven he is capable of doing.

Whichever mediocre quarterback happens to be doing the signal calling for Jacksonville will also have quite a mediocre arsenal of receivers at his disposal, none of which had more than Reggie William's 52 receptions and Matt Jones' 643 yards receiving last season. They did draft WR Mike Walker out of Central Florida in the 3rd round and have high expectations for him. Walker has been recovering from a knee injury which dropped his draft stock considerably, but impressed NFL scouts with a 4.35 40 yard dash before the draft, eliminating most of the concern regarding his health.

2007 Jacksonville Jaguars Predictions

It's difficult to say that the Jaguars have any type of a shot in the AFC South when competing with the Colts, but if their defense continues its dominance, if Taylor and Leftwich can stay healthy, and if someone emerges as a solid target in the receiving corps, then the Jags could have a legitimate shot. As it stands Jacksonville has about a 50/50 shot at making the playoffs, considering the tough competition in the AFC, and NFL odds makers will have them in the middle of the pack in terms of their chance of winning the Super Bowl. Things are more likely to get worse before they get better simply due to lack of fire power and injury possibilities on offense. Their defense does not have the type of playmakers that can affect the outcome of a game like those on Baltimore's, Chicago's or New England's roster.

If you enjoyed reading the Jacksonville Jaguars preview read up on the rest of AFC South clubs like the Texans, Colts, and Titans team breakdowns from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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