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Overview of Madden Teams - Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team who has been a long time stepping stone for other NFL teams (not unlike the Cleveland Browns). They have definitely fought hard in many of their games - only to fall short - and have even pulled their share of upsets in the past. This team, however, is not going to win a super bowl in the next five years. In madden, they do have a lot of potential - and talent - but this is not a team you take into online battle every game and expect to go undefeated.
Quarterback - The Jaguars have seemingly found their franchise signal caller in Blake Bortles (75 overall, 22 years old). He stands at 6'5" and weighs 232 pounds (so he has really good NFL size). Bortles has some mobility (73 speed, 79 agility), so he can avoid pressure and make the throw he needs to make. His arm is NFL ready (92 throw power), although not elite in arm strength. His accuracy is solid for a young passer (79 short, 75 medium, 66 deep), and he has plenty of room to grow. Behind him is veteran Chad Henne (74, 29), who can start if he needs to, but he is better off as a backup at this point in his career.
Running Backs - There isn't anything about these running backs that is really special. I would start Toby Gerhart (72, 27) due to his decent trucking (82) and carrying (86). He is a balanced runner, even with his below average 84 speed. Speaking of speed, both Jordan Todman (74, 24) and Dennard Robinson (75, 23) have a lot of it. Todman (93 speed, 91 agility) has decent (although not quite reliable) carrying with a 77 in that category. While Robinson (93 speed, 96 agility) is faster, his carry rating isn't quite as good as Todman's (74). Even though Todman is a little more reliable with the ball, I'd give it to Robinson on screen plays and other routes out of the backfield because he has a more natural feel with the ball in his hands (85 ball carrier vision compared to an 81 for Todman). Storm Johnson (68, 22) is another name you could use in this rotation. He can be the runner you develop over a season or two, and he already has decent ratings. His speed isn't much (85 speed, 81 agility), but he has decent trucking (83) and carrying (78). Johnson is also the most durable of all four running backs on the roster (93 injury). Fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou (78, 27) is the best option at his position to start, as his run blocking is great (80). Although Bradie Ewing (70, 24) is close with a 78 in that category, and may garner consideration to start in his stead. Eric Kettani (70, 27) should be released due to the amount of fullbacks already on the team.
Wide Receivers - Justin Blackmon (83, 24) is another name who benefits from madden not having in-game off the field issues. He has potential as the starting receiver, with his height (6'1") and hands (89 catch, 90 catch in traffic). Blackmon can run solid routes (80) to get separation as well. Opposite him should be Allen Robinson (77, 21). His size is even better than Blackmon's (6'3", 210 pounds) and he can catch as well (84 catch, 86 catch in traffic). Robinson's routes aren't quite as polished (74), but he will benefit from his 91 catch, if the pass is a little high. Cecil Shorts III (79, 26) is an underrated receiver in this league. Shorts possesses good speed (92 speed, 91 agility) and good hands (84 catch, 81 catch in traffic). He gets the nod in the slot over fourth receiver Tandon Doss (71, 24) because while Doss is slightly better with hanging on to the football while getting hit (84 catch and catch in traffic), Shorts has the better route running (80 compared to a 68). Marqise Lee (74, 22) has the potential to develop into a starter, as does Allen Hurns (73, 22) which makes this position stacked on quality depth.
Tight Ends - Veteran Mercedes Lewis (81, 30) is a decent starter - although a better backup. He has decent hands (75 catch, 82 catch in traffic), but the drawback is that Lewis does not possess the speed to make plays (73 speed, 74 agility), but he is decent when used as a blocking tight end (72 run block). Both backups Clay Harbor (74, 27), and Nic Jacobs (68, 22) can be used in the passing game over Lewis. Harbor has good speed (83) and catch (75), although his catch in traffic (69) is not ideal by any means. However, Jacobs has decent speed (77) and decent hands (72 catch, 70 catch in traffic), which means he should either be groomed to take over in another season (and play a rotational role until then) or Jacobs should be the starter right out of the gate.
Offensive Line - This line is extremely young and has a ton of potential, Left tackle Luke Joeckel (76, 22) can be a solid blocker right now, with time to improve even more. Zane Beadles (80, 27) is arguably the best lineman on the team. He is the veteran leader of this group, and is a good option on the interior of the line. Center Luke Bowanko (73, 22) is a good blocker, but he needs to be better in pass protection in order to be considered a "good" option to start. Until then, he's a decent option at center. Brandon Lindor (79, 22) can also be argued as the best lineman on the roster. He needs to develop as a run blocker a little bit more, but when he does, he can be considered the best player of this entire group. Right tackle Austin Pasztor (73, 23) can be considered in the same boat as the center (Bowanko) in that he still needs to develop, although he has potential.
Defensive Line - Former Seahawk Red Bryant (79, 30) is a decent starter off of the edge, but the team needs to focus more on the future. Ryan Davis (79, 25) is the starter on the right side, and he has the makings of a very solid contributor. Davis is good enough to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but is still young enough to continue to hone his skills. Backup Chris Clemons (78, 32) is another former Seahawk who can be used in a rotation, or as a starter should one of these guys get hurt or not perform at a high enough level. On the inside, Sen'Derrick Marks (86, 27) is a good defensive tackle. He can force pressure up the middle consistently enough to make the offense change their gameplan. Next to him is a combination of Roy Miller (73, 27) and Ziggy Hood (74, 27). While neither of these guys are necessarily terrible, not Miller nor Hood will be going to the pro bowl, either.
Linebackers - Left outside linebacker Geno Hayes (78, 27) is a good player to have on your roster. He has solid speed (84 speed, 83 agility), decent awareness (76), good tackling ability (85 tackle, 83 hit power), and pursuit (88). I would personally use him as my starter for a few years, while I develop backup LaRoy Reynolds (71, 23). This guy is a diamond in the rough, as his speed is decent (84 speed, 76 agility), he has good tackling fundamentals (78), can lay the big hit (88 hit power), shed blocks to get after the ball carrier (74) and solid pursuit (85). At age 23, this man has a lot of potential as a starter. Rookie Telvin Smith (75, 23) starts on the right side, and has great speed (90 speed, 88 agility), really good hands for a linebacker (72 catch), good tackling form (82 tackle and hit power), and 80 pursuit. Smith also has the potential to be a pro bowl defender in another season or two. Until then, he will be another underrated, tackling machine for Jacksonville. In the middle, Paul Posluszny (84, 29) makes for a good veteran option as a starter. His tackling is really good (88 tackle, 80 hit power), as is his block shedding (77), and pursuit (89). While great athleticism isn't there (76 speed, 79 agility), his mental knowledge of the game and awareness are (93 awareness).
Cornerbacks - This group has some potential, yet is lacking overall. Dwayne Gratz (77, 24) is arguably your best option to start as your top cornerback. I would prefer him as my number two, but he is possibly the best corner on the team. His man coverage a good (84) and his zone coverage is decent (77). He can catch as well, with a 68 in that category. Next to him is 23 year old Demetrius McCray (74 overall), with an 82 in man, and 76 in zone coverage. He is decent, but not quite preferred as a starter. As the nickel back, I like having Alan Ball (79, 29) in this spot. He has good zone coverage (86) and can cover one on one when he needs to (79 man). Ball has great size (6'2", 197), and can tackle better than most corners (68 tackle). Aaron Colvin (71, 22) can be a good contributor, as he has decent man coverage (76) and good zone (84). His best quality is his versatility, however. Colvin can line up at safety if he needs to (70 overall at free safety). His biggest flaw is his 76 injury, so just be wary of that.
Safety - Josh Evans (69, 23) should be starting at free safety over incumbent Sherrod Martin (70, 29). While Martin can catch better (60 to a 54), Evans can tackle a lot better (61 to a 52), and hit harder (87 to 74) than Martin can. The rest of their ratings are pretty similar, so I would go with the younger option, who can tackle better and has more potential, over the veteran. Johnathon Cyprien (78, 24) is a player who has a ton of potential, and can become a pro bowl safety soon. He has decent speed (82 speed, 83 agility), decent awareness for a young player (71), average hands (63 catch), good tackling (72 tackle, 91 hit power), and solid pursuit (77). Combined with his good size (6'0", 217 pounds), Cyprien is a great option at strong safety going in to the future.
Summary - This team has plenty of young players and potential, but I think the flaws are too much for them to overcome. Jacksonville's offensive needs (franchise running back and tight end) pair with the myriad of defensive needs this roster has (defensive end, defensive tackle, and cornerbacks) to keep this team from reaching its full potential. The Jaguars could surprise people and make a playoff push, but I wouldn't count on it until at least a few of these needs are tended to. As for online games, the Jags won't be able to beat the top players, but should defeat opponents who underestimate the talent on this roster.