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ESPN analysts give Jaguars positive grade in free agency

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A group of ESPN analysts agree that the Jacksonville Jaguars did one of the better jobs in free agency.

Mike Sando, Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Field Yates and Mark Dominik evaluated what every team in the NFL accomplished during free agency, and the Jaguars were one of 17 teams to receive a B-plus, B, or B-minus. The group collectively gave the Jaguars a B. (Insider content).

Only two teams received As: Philadelphia (A) and New England (A-minus). New Orleans, Miami and Cleveland were the only teams not to receive at least a C-minus. The Browns received the worst grade, an F-plus.

I'm not giving away their analysis, but here's what I wrote on March 15 in evaluating the work GM Dave Caldwell did in free agency:

"The Jaguars landed the top defensive player available [Malik Jackson]. They also filled a major need on defense with free safety Tashaun Gipson, who finally gives them the rangy center fielder they need in coach Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jaguars also added a second running in Chris Ivory to share the workload with T.J. Yeldon, a punter [Brad Nortman], and an interior offensive lineman [Mackenzy Bernadeau]. It’s a very good class but the fact that the No. 1 need [edge rusher] wasn’t addressed knocks the grade down a bit."

That was before the team signed offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum to compete with left tackle Luke Joeckel, but that signing isn't enough to change the B grade I gave the Jaguars.

The bottom line is the Jaguars weren't able to land an edge rusher, though Caldwell made a strong push to get Olivier Vernon, and that's the only thing that kept the team from receiving an A.