JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Got questions about the Jacksonville Jaguars? I’ll answer the best one every Saturday morning. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco. Please use the hashtag #jagsquestion.
There were a lot of good questions, but unfortunately I can’t answer them all.Tashaun Gipson doesn't turn 26 until August, which makes him a young player in my book. I'm going with the free-agent signee because free safety is the most important position in coach Gus Bradley's defense. It requires a player that is fast and athletic and has good instincts because the Jaguars want him to be able to cover the entire field. That way, the strong safety can play down in the box as sort of a hybrid safety/linebacker. Bradley had one in Seattle with Earl Thomas, which allowed Kam Chancellor to play closer to the line of scrimmage. He hasn't had a free safety capable of doing it in his first three seasons in Jacksonville. Now that he does, we'll see if Johnathan Cyprien can finally flourish as a strong safety.
Jermey Parnell is set at right tackle. A.J. Cann is set at one guard (most likely right guard) and Brandon Linder is almost certainly going to be the starting center (if not, then he'll start at guard). I'm projecting Kelvin Beachum to win the left tackle job, which leaves left guard open. That could go to Luke Joeckel because the Jaguars do think he's capable of doing that. Believe it or not, they are interested in bringing him back next year but certainly not at a price anywhere close to what it would have cost had they exercised the fifth-year option. There is a possibility that Joeckel could be traded, but Beachum won't be a full participant until training camp so if a trade were to happen it would be late in camp or during the early part of the season. The Jaguars believe the offensive line will be better in 2016, mainly because of the growth of Cann and Linder's return from a torn labrum, but I'm skeptical.
Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Yannick Ngakoue. Don't forget, this is Todd Wash's first year as a coordinator, too. I expect the unit to struggle early and then be playing much better by the middle of the season. The most important number is points allowed, and the Jaguars were 31st in the league last year at 28.0 points per game. Realistic expectations would be cutting 3-5 points off that number, forcing more than the 18 interceptions they forced in 2015, and dropping their third-down percentage from 46.3 (31st in 2015) to around 40. That should put the Jaguars in the middle of the league.