Jaguars Pre-Training Camp Awards

Since we've prematurely gone through what games we believe the team will win and lose, we should probably give out some individual awards prematurely as well.

Offensive MVP- Quarterback David Garrard
The Jaguars starting quarterback has plenty of money in his pockets, thanks to his new contract, and we believe that he'll take his game to a higher level. Garrard now has a legitimate set of weapons all around him, and JagNation believes that he'll break several team passing records this season.

Defensive MVP- Linebacker Justin Durant
It may be a little soon for Durant to step into stardom, but he has all the physical tools. Durant is the fastest linebacker the Jaguars have ever had, and we believe that new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' schemes will be perfect for his disruptive style of play. We believe Durant will start 16 games and make an impact, although it may not completely reflect in the stat-sheet or in a Pro Bowl appearance.

Most Improved (Offense)- Left tackle Khalif Barnes
This was a tough call, but we believe Khalif Barnes will be the Jaguars most improved offensive player. Barnes is not only playing for a new contract, but also his starting job, and he's a very solid left tackle when motivated. This year Barnes takes a step forward and earns a new deal, whether it is with the Jaguars or some other team.

Most Improved (Defense)- Safety Reggie Nelson
Reggie Nelson has star attributes, and we believe he'll thrive in Gregg Williams defensive schemes. Nelson found himself out of position from time to time as a rookie in 2007, and we think many of those mental errors will be corrected by year two. Nelson should be an improved tackler this season, and his game will be complete.

Best Newcomer- Wide receiver Jerry Porter
Jerry Porter will add stability in a formerly underachieving wide receiver corps, and although we don't expect him to have a 1000 yard season, he will be a number one presence and open up the field for receivers such as Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, and Troy Williamson.

Non-starter who can turn into a starter- Guard Uche Nwaneri
Although Maurice Williams is currently penciled in as the starter at left guard, don't discount second-year player Uche Nwaneri's chances at unseating Williams. Nwaneri is a very physical player with oodles of talent, and he definitely has the mean streak to be successful at the NFL level. We believe Nwaneri will make a push to start by the middle of the season if not before.

Player most likely to suffer a statistical decline- Running back Fred Taylor
Taylor appears as if he's in the best shape of his career, but he is a 32-year old running back. With Maurice Jones-Drew expected to receive more carries, it is possible that Freddy T. may not reach 1000 yards in 2008.

Special teams MVP- Montell Owens
Montell Owens has been a special teams star ever since he arrived at Jacksonville, and special teams is where he earns his paycheck. Owens will continue his hard work and special teams dominance in 2008, and be the best performer in that unit.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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