ESPN snubs Jaguars from top-100 players list

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Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars had one player crack ESPN’s top 100 list for the NFL: edge rusher Josh Allen, who ranked 91st heading into 2020. But this time around, no Jacksonville players earned that distinction. Despite having several players near the top of the league at their position, such as center Brandon Linder and linebacker Myles Jack, ESPN left those players off the list this time around.

The Jags were one of just two teams without players on the list, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles. ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco explained why that was the case.

The franchise has been bleeding talent for years, but particularly from that 2017 team that had a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the AFC title game. Jacksonville’s Pro Bowlers that season (defensive end Calais Campbell, linebacker Telvin Smith, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and cornerback Jalen Ramsey) are either out of the league or with other teams.

The Jaguars have not been able to replace that level of talent despite drafting in the top five the past three years. The team didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on 2018 first-round pick defensive tackle Taven Bryan. Then, 2019 first-round pick Allen followed a 10.5-sack season as a rookie with an injury-filled sophomore year and finished with 2.5 sacks. Jacksonville’s two 2020 first-round picks — cornerback C.J. Henderson (who is potentially on the trade block) and defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson — both had disappointing rookie seasons.

Aside from Jack and a couple of starters on the offensive line, every starter from the 2017 team that went to the AFC Championship is now gone. The Jags are a full-on rebuilding team, and they have one of the youngest rosters in football. With a talented pair of young receivers, a rookie quarterback, and youth all over the defense, Jacksonville likely won’t be left off lists like these for too much longer.