JACKSONVILLE – Eight Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2020 NFL season approaches; today: the experts predict the Jaguars' Defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: Defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen. He had 10½ sacks while only playing 60 percent of the snaps on defense. He is an every-down player who defensive coordinator Todd Wash may move around. Allen is a star in the making.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: Middle linebacker Joe Schobert. I think rookie outside/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson will be electrifying, but my guess is Schobert will be a big part of all the defense does. He's a three-down guy, as is weak-side linebacker Myles Jack. Schobert is very good in pass defense but will be expected to greatly assist the run defense as an inside backer. He is a veteran. He has been around. I think other defensive players will feed off him. They have to. This is a big year for Schobert and can be for the Jags if Schobert is a big part of it.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: Allen. He is such a talented, well-rounded player. The Jaguars were very fortunate he fell to them in the 2019 NFL Draft because he is an excellent edge defender who also is strong against the run and the pass. He is far from a finished product and will continue to improve as a pass rusher as he learns and adds more moves to his pass rush bag of tricks. Allen's high motor and desire to be his best will take him to the next level.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: This is difficult to identify. Sure, Allen is a logical choice – and I think defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will play, so he could make a huge impact. I've wrongly predicted Jack to have a breakout year for the last two seasons. Part of me now wonders if the Jaguars made a bad investment, but I'm going to stay believing in Jack for one more year. He's finally in a good position to not have a lot on his plate and just use his athleticism and go play football. The Schobert signing will help Jack more than anyone else. I'm all in one more time on Jack and I think he will have a Pro Bowl-caliber season.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: Allen. It's not that there aren't other candidates. Jack could have a breakout year, and Ngakoue should again push for double-digit sacks. But Allen is an elite talent who had double-digit sacks as a rookie and did so playing on a team that rarely held the lead and struggled to stop the run. The guess here is the Jaguars' defense will improve against the run. If that happens, Allen will be in more pass-rushing situations. If he takes the expected jump that many second-year players take, that could mean a monster year for Allen.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: This to me is a two-man race. Either Allen reaches Nick Bosa status in his second season or Jack returns to his 2017 form and makes big-time plays every Sunday. I'll go with Jack, but it's really a flip of a coin. The move to the weak side gives him the edge. Jack is a terrific athlete and understands his new position is one where plays are there to be made. Remember the interception in Pittsburgh in the 2017 AFC Divisional Playoff? He can play near the line of scrimmage with his 245-pound frame and can cover the tight end or the back out of the backfield. He's also a great kid whose personality previously has been overshadowed in the Jaguars' locker room. Not this year. I see him rising to fill the void left by others and becoming the game-changing presence on the defense.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: Allen. He has the makings of a long-term playmaker for the Jaguars, and he should only build on what he accomplished in his rookie season of 2019. He might be the answer for this question for the duration of his rookie contract and beyond.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
My prediction for the Jaguars' defensive Most Valuable Player in 2020: When I was driving home from Orlando after covering Allen's first Pro Bowl appearance, I couldn't forget the image of Allen glued to Von Miller's hip, asking him for advice and telling stories of the past season. That is just one example of why he will continue to be great; he is always improving. Allen has the athletic talent, the passion and the drive to play at a Pro Bowl level every season, I would be surprised if he is not there again next year. He is an old-soul family man who has the commitment to be great for many years to come.