Allen Hurns doesn't like Jaguars being among trendy playoff picks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting a lot of positive attention during the offseason. Because of the moves the team made in free agency and the core of good, young offensive players, they’ve been one of the trendy playoff picks for 2016.

Among those who said or wrote that the Jaguars could have a lot of success this season are Pro Football Focus, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.

Fans are naturally eating that up, but Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns isn’t.

"I don’t like it," he told ESPN. "I like to stay under the radar."

That’s not really possible any longer -- especially in terms of fantasy football -- and Hurns is one of the major reasons why. Quarterback Blake Bortles was tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns passes (35) and threw for 4,428 yards, Allen Robinson had 1,400 yards and 14 TDs receiving (tied for the most in the NFL), and Hurns had 1,031 yards and 10 TDs receiving, including a touchdown catch in seven games in a row.

Last week Bortles created a bit of a stir when he said Robinson and Hurns were the best receiver duo in the NFL and Hurns backed him up two days later. Their numbers are good enough that they’re certainly in the conversation.

The Jaguars also made several key additions in free agency: running back Chris Ivory, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson and offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum. Jackson was arguably the top defensive free agent available and Gipson solidifies what had been a weak spot on the defense the past three seasons.

Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (torn ACL), the No. 3 overall pick in 2015, and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (torn triceps) are expected to be completely healthy when the season begins. The Jaguars have the fifth pick in the draft and are expected to take one of the top defensive players, whether it’s defensive back Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Joey Bosa or linebacker Myles Jack.

If the offense becomes more consistent, the free-agency additions play well, the injured players have no setbacks, and the high picks help improve the defense, the Jaguars should be contenders in the AFC South. Hurns understands that. He just doesn’t want people talking about it right now.

"Coming into last year nobody gave us a shot so now everybody wants to give us all this love now," Hurns said. "It’s good getting the love, getting the respect. Guys are aware of where we’re headed, but at the end of the day those guys weren’t with us from the beginning. I guess that’s part of the league. If you’re not doing well, that’s what’s going to happen."

Here’s the funny thing: Hurns thinks the Jaguars could be headed for big things in 2016, too. He just doesn’t want to make a big deal of it right now.

"It’s very exciting around here just to see the moves we made this offseason," he said. "We’ve got the draft coming up. I’m sure there’ll be some more exciting moves. Also, with guys we have coming back, it’s a great time for things right now."