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 look ahead and project the 2020 season
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Be a more exciting team. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's offense will create more opportunities for the Jaguars' playmakers. They are a young team and will make mistakes, but all signs point to them contending in the AFC South in 2021.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Be one of the most intriguing teams in the league. How is that for a cop out? It's too early for me to predict a record. With this much newness, we have to see how it looks in camp, how it feels, what is being said internally and externally after they start playing together. I'm always the guy who believes they are better than others do, but I wouldn't be surprised if this team is a real surprise. Just a gut. We'll see.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars in 2020 will: This is the question I just don't see the answer to – much like I don't know the answer to what the NFL season will look like in the year of a global pandemic. There are still so many unknowns, variables and questions that we don't even know yet. Will we see a full NFL season? Will we have fans in the stands? Could we see a young Jaguars team that is fearless of all threats play extremely well? Could we see a quarterback emerge as a franchise guy or add more questions to the Jaguars' future? Will the Jaguars have a winning season or a losing season? I don't know the answers, but I hope the Jaguars in 2020 will be something, which means we all get to enjoy an NFL season and our favorite team.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars in 2020 will: There might not be a bigger sunshine-and-rainbows person in the media in town than me when it comes to the Jaguars. Let's be honest: we all have scar tissue in believing in the Jags. I think it's a joke that people say the Jaguars are Tanking for Trevor or even have a roster to get just two victories. I also think their ceiling – given the circumstances of this year and their young team – is not very high. I think the Jags will exceed expectations, but that's only because the expectations might be the lowest in franchise history. I think this is a 7-9 team and the ceiling might be eight or nine victories – max. If the Jags could somehow hit the ceiling, Marrone will be in the running for Coach of the Year and Gardner Minshew II will be the quarterback of the future.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Be better than most analysts believe. While many observers are picking the Jaguars to contend for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the reality is this is a good young roster that may already have found several core players. The question is whether Minshew is the quarterback of the future. If he is, then the Jaguars could push for a .500 record. If he's not, they probably won't get near that. Either way, the run defense should be improved enough – and Minshew is poised and good enough late in games – for the Jaguars to be much better than many expect.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Go as far as Minshew can take them. It's a quarterback's league. The Jaguars will be better against the run this season and the defense has the kind of pass rush that will create turnovers and field position. I believe running back Leonard Fournette is primed for a huge season and that the addition of a few key players on that side of the ball – plus Gruden and quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo will make the offense much more effective and opportunistic. The difference will be Minshew – and if his energetic, gunslinging style translates to victories week after week.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Have some growing pains as a young football team but also see much more success than some observers are predicting.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars in 2020 will: Be in the middle of the pack. Minshew will win the Jaguars some games, in no way should Jaguars fans think they will be tanking for Trevor Lawrence with Minshew at quarterback. The Jaguars seemed to have added pieces to have a better run defense and more playmakers on offense. However, this team is very young, and I have a hard time thinking they will be able to mesh quickly enough to contend right away with many new additions. I see them going 7-9.