Top Midseason Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl Candidates

It’s been a tough first half of the season for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans. The Jaguars have dug themselves into an early hole; sitting at 2-5 and occupying last place in the pedestrian AFC South. The Jaguars have lost nail biters to both the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, but they have also been blown out by the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has been fired and Gus Bradley‘s hot seat is now flaming due to his 14-42 record as the head coach of the team. Nevertheless, this team is loaded with an ample amount of young talent and despite popular belief there are a handful of players playing at a very high level for the Jaguars.

Top Midseason Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl Candidates

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey is only a rookie but he’s already playing like one of the top corners in the NFL. As the fifth overall pick in the draft, Ramsey had high expectations coming into the season and stats suggest that he has exceeded those expectations so far. In his first seven games, Ramsey has shut down Amari Cooper, feuded with Steve Smith and won the game against the Chicago Bears with a vital pass break-up. Yeah, “you can write that”. It’s no secret that the Florida State product has a boisterous personality coupled with extreme confidence, but he’s backing it all up on the field. Ramsey is fourth on the team with 32 tackles and has played some of his best football being disruptive at the line of scrimmage.

Telvin Smith

Smith has been able to produce at a consistently high level since being drafted by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has built up a reputation for being a tackling machine at the weak-side linebacker position for Todd Walsh’s defense. Smith has also developed into the best coverage linebacker on this Jaguars roster who isn’t named Myles Jack. An ever-present figure in the middle of the field, Smith has registered 65 tackles and four passes-defended so far this season – meaning he is on pace to set a career high in both categories. Alongside his impressive stat sheet, Smith has established himself as the heart and soul of this Jaguars’ defense, the fact that he is already the unquestioned vocal leader indicates that he will be the long-term successor to Paul Posluzny as the captain of this promising unit.

Brandon Linder

Brandon Linder may not have the name recognition as the aforementioned players on this list, but he should. He is one of the top interior offensive lineman in the NFL and that is often overshadowed by the overall subpar play of the Jaguars offensive line. However, Linder has played at a Pro Bowl level since he first put on a Jags uniform in 2014. Playing at guard for his first two years, Linder made the transition to center this season and it has been about as smooth as one could hope. Rarely beaten at the line of scrimmage, Linder has the football smarts to make calls at the line in order to set protections and also has the power to bully opposing defensive lineman, allowing fewer pressures than any other lineman on the team by a considerably wide margin.

Honorable Mentions

Brad Nortman

Special teams would be a real highlight if the Jaguars’ return team could hold onto the football. Brad Nortman has been phenomenal for the Jags through eight games, including a 78-yard punt at Wembley against the Indianapolis Colts.

Yannick Ngakoue

It’s been a sensational year for the rookie defensive end. Through eight games he’s registered four sacks – one and a half more than the nearest total, registered by second year end Dante Fowler Jr, three forced fumbles and one interception. It’s been quite the year for the 69th overall pick. While the Jaguars still seem a little short on their pass-rushing abilities both Ngakoue and Fowler deserve a chance to set the edge in Jacksonville.


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