To say the least, the 2010s have not been kind to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team’s one playoff appearance over the last 10 years tells a lot of the story. Still, there have been many talented players on Jacksonville, though it rarely comes together. This list showcases the Jaguars All-Decade Team for the 2010s, and this article will focus on the defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars All-Decade Team: The Defense
Edge Rusher: Yannick Ngakoue (2016-2019), Calais Campbell (2017-2019)
Yannick Ngakoue’s end with the team may seem imminent at this point, but he has had a fantastic career with the team so far. Despite being a third-round pick, Ngakoue became an immediate starter his rookie season and did not disappoint. Ngakoue was able to put up eight sacks, and 14 quarterback hits in his rookie year. From this point forward Ngakoue would only improve, making the Pro Bowl in his following season. Ngakoue has put up 37.5 sacks in his four-year career, the second most career sacks for the Jaguars.
Signing Calais Campbell in 2017 became one of the biggest factors in Jacksonville making the AFC championship. Campbell put up a career-high 14.5 sacks this year and made both all-pro teams as a defensive end and interior defensive lineman. Campbell’s success continued on following the 2017 season despite Jacksonville’s defense rapidly declining from this point forward. In 2018 and 2019, Campbell had a combined 17 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. Even though Campbell’s career came to a shorter than expected end this offseason when he was traded, he remains one of Jacksonville’s most valuable players this decade.
Defensive Line: Malik Jackson (2016-2018), Marcell Dareus (2017-2019)
After going to the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 2015, Malik Jackson would sign with the Jaguars. He gave the Jaguars a much needed upgrade to their interior defensive line. Jackson was known as a great pass rusher but was also vastly underrated as a run defender, rarely getting moved off the line of scrimmage and still able to shed blocks with ease. Jackson finished his Jacksonville career with 18 sacks and 28 tackles for loss over 48 games.
The final defensive line spot is tricky, but we’ll give the nod to Marcell Dareus. Dareus was arguably the most crucial run defender on the team for the last three years. His ability to take up double teams like it was nothing became very important for a defense known for speed and pass rush. Though his career statistics in Jacksonville don’t seem that good, his impact on Jacksonville’s defense was far more impressive.
Linebacker: Myles Jack (2016-2019), Telvin Smith (2014-2018), Paul Posluszny (2011-2017)
Despite having a first round projection throughout the draft process, Myles Jack fell to Jacksonville in the second round due to long-term injury concerns. This good fortune on draft night has certainly paid off for the Jaguars. In his first season, Jack had 10 starts, but it wasn’t until his second season when he would become an every-down linebacker. Jack’s versatility has also come in handy, being moved around to all three linebacker positions throughout his career. Jack currently has 287 tackles, over 59 games for Jacksonville, and was secured long-term by Jacksonville with a four-year extension during the 2019 off-season.
Jacksonville has not had a great history in drafting in recent history, but Telvin Smith might have been their best value pick of the decade. Smith was drafted in the fifth round and quickly started making an impact on the field, starting nine games in his rookie season. Smith is a unique player, he’s a tall and very light linebacker but showed better strength and tackling than his size suggests. But he was mainly known for his speed and fast reactionary skills that helped him make a lot of tackles for losses and plays in the passing game. Smith finished his career with 52 tackles for loss, which ranks second for the Jaguars all-time leaders.
Jacksonville has had some good linebacker play throughout the decade, but this list couldn’t be completed without mentioning Paul Posluszny. Posluszny played seven years in Jacksonville and was the centerpiece of Jacksonville’s defense for quite some time. Posluszny currently leads the team in career tackles with 816 in 100 games and got to the AFC championship in his final year before retiring.
Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey (2016-2019), A.J. Bouye (2017-2019)
When the Jaguars selected Jalen Ramsey with the fifth overall pick, it was clear this would be a franchise changing move. Though Ramsey’s career with the Jaguars wasn’t as long as many fans anticipated, he was consistently among the top players at his position. After an impressive rookie season, Ramsey would make his first Pro Bowl and an AFC championship the following year. Ramsey would make another Pro Bowl in his final full season with the team in 2018 before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams.
Following a breakout season with the Houston Texans, the Jaguars were able to snatch A.J. Bouye from a division rival. Pairing Bouye with Jalen Ramsey in 2017 ended up being one Jacksonville’s best moves of the decade and was a leading factor in going to the AFC championship. Buoye would also make the all-pro team this season. Buoye would play another two years in Jacksonville and had eight interceptions over his three-year Jacksonville career before being traded to the Broncos this off-season.
Safeties: Tashaun Gipson (2016-2018), Barry Church (2017-2018)
Safety has not been a strong suit for the Jaguars this decade, but Tashaun Gipson did have multiple good years as a starting free safety in Jacksonville. After playing his rookie contract on the Cleveland Browns, Gibson went on to sign a five-year deal with Jacksonville. Though Gipson only played three of the years, he was able to bring good range and reactionary skills that are desperately needed when playing as a single-high safety. Jacksonville predominantly using single-high safety coverages this decade, only makes these skills even more critical.
The final player on this list is yet another player from the 2017 Jacksonville defense in Barry Church. Church was a key signing in the 2017 season that helped propel the Jaguars defense to the next level. Much like most people on this list, Church had his best season in 2017. Though he only played two seasons in Jacksonville, Church’s ability to play in multiple alignments gave the Jaguars some nice versatility. He could be used both near the line of scrimmage and as a single high safety. Church ended his career in Jacksonville with five interceptions, and 10 passes defended over 27 games.
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