By Marc Lawrence – With 12 selections in this year’s draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty much guaranteed a strong upgrade to a program that has fallen on hard times with only one winning season the past 12 years – and they got it. By trading away Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, the Jaguars had a hole at cornerback and filling it with CJ Henderson was a great move. While he is coming off a down year at Florida, Henderson is right behind Jeffrey Okudah in terms of man-coverage skills. His athleticism is among the best in the entire draft class and will give wide receivers trouble at the next level. With their second first-rounder, Jacksonville picked an edge rusher in K’Lavon Chaisson, who has incredible physical tools and high-end traits. Chaisson is still young and the tools are there, but the question becomes whether he can translate that to on-field production. Teams passed on Colorado WR Laviska Shenault due to his injury history, but that still wasn’t a big concern for Pro Football Focus who had him 18th on their big board and was the 4th highest rated WR. He does his best work after the catch and more like a running back with the ball in his hands than a wide receiver. He’s broken 44 tackles since 2018, which is the highest in college football. He has elite physical tools that you just can’t coach at the position. The steal of the Jacksonville draft, however, was OT Ben Bartch of St. John’s. Bartch wasn’t a household name on Saturdays this past fall because he played for D-III St. John’s of Minnesota where he dominates at that level. When he went up against legitimate defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl and put up one of the highest win rates in one-on-ones. Bartch was a great addition to the Jaguars’ offensive line. For more on the Jaguars’ draft and a composite review of their grade from 4 of the nation’s leading football authorities, click here.
The demise of the XFL brought with it an ugly lawsuit between owner Vince McMahon and league commissioner Oliver Luck. According to The Athletic, the premise for the suit was that Luck all but abandoned his job during after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and for his hiring of wide receiver Antonio Callaway. The nascent XFL, reeling from the shutdown brought on by COVID-19, shuttered April 10 and filed for bankruptcy three days later. Luck sued the league founder McMahon on April 16 for the value of his contract arguing he was fired without cause. The amount is $23.8 million and his contract ran through June 2023. Luck received a base salary of $5 million per year with bonus incentives. McMahon’s further contention is that Luck ignored his directive not to hire players with troubled backgrounds. Tampa Bay claimed the oft-troubled Callaway on waivers and he was placed on the IR before the start of the season with a knee injury. Luck, the father of former Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, is a seasoned sports executive. McMahon is the flamboyant founder of the WWE.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the 2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine: The Baltimore Ravens travel 6,310 miles to road games in 2020, the fewest by any team the past four seasons, per ESPN. They will also face the weakest Strength of Schedule with opponent’s regular-season win-loss record .438 (112-144).