The Jacksonville Jaguars upgraded their linebacking corps by signing former 49ers linebacker Dan Skuta and renegotiating a deal with veteran Paul Posluszny. Add in an offseason of work for second-year pro Telvin Smith and the Jaguars linebackers are as good as they've been in years.
We're going to examine who are the best tight ends that the Jaguars will line up against in 2015.
With or without Tom Brady, Gronk is still the very best tight end in the NFL. He's a nightmare matchup for defensive coordinators as he blocks like a lineman, is too fast for most linebackers to cover and simply too big for safeties to deal with. Gronkowski has averaged nearly one touchdown per game played over his career and even if Tom Brady remains suspended, he will still be the Patriots primary target in the passing game.
Footnote: Rob Gronkowski was selected by the Patriots with a draft pick that they acquired from the Jaguars which the team used to select Derek Cox.
The Jaguars will have to game plan for the toughest tight ends early as they start the season with Carolina's Greg Olsen. Olsen is a Pro Bowler whose production has increased in each of his four seasons as a Panther. Last season, G-reg caught 84 balls for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns. Olsen isn't nearly the blocker that Gronkowski is, but he has enough speed to be a legitimate threat in the seam and he has excellent hands.
The Jaguars get another tough September tight end test as they take on the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins signed Jordan Cameron as a free agent this offseason and he will fit in well in their upgraded passing attack. Cameron is a tall target at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, and Ryan Tannehill will be by far the best quarterback that he's ever played with. Although Cameron won't be the Dolphins No. 1 target, he's capable of being a great red zone threat and someone the Jaguars linebackers and safeties have to be very concerned with.
It's hard to pick just one of the Colts tight ends so we're making it a virtual tie. Both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are capable targets in the passing game and Allen is a little better at blocking. Fleener was used more in the passing game last season and Indy will often put both on the field at the same time. Both guys can put up numbers on a given week as teams have to worry about so much speed on the outside when facing the Colts.
We expect Baltimore's Maxx Williams to have a great rookie season and be a big part of the Ravens offense. Williams was a great, athletic target at Minnesota and at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds he will be a major facet for Joe Flacco and the Baltimore passing game. Williams has the athleticism to be an Antonio Gates type of player.
Top 5 TE's The Jaguars Will Face in 2015
Jags Illustrated Top Stories
LOCKED on JAGUARS 10-25Ben Freid gives you hot takes, a man who should be the next Jags GM/Head Coach and of course Jags vs Titans.
Name Five QBs Worse Than Blake BortlesIt sounds crazy to say out loud, but you'll find out quickly just how hard it is to name five NFL quarterbacks who are worse than Blake Bortles. I know, it just doesn’t seem right.…
A Tale Of Two QuarterbacksThere was a franchise quarterback sighting in Jacksonville on Sunday at Everbank Field! Unfortunately for most of the fans that attended the game, it was not Blake Bortles.
LOCKED on JAGUARS 10-24Ben Freid gives you his Top 5 takeaways from last night's game. Is Blake Bortles a franchise qb? Also exclusive Marqise Lee interview.