The Jacksonville Jaguars have built perhaps the best defense in the NFL, led by elite pass rushers Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, as well as Pro Bowl cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey.
'Sacksonville' took the NFL by storm last season, winning the AFC South title while booking an unexpected trip to the AFC Championship Game. Given that most of the core players in Jacksonville are in their early to mid 20s, there's good reason for fans in Florida to be optimistic for years to come.
If Campbell, Ngakoue, Bouye and Ramsey aren't scary enough to begin with, just imagine how much better this unit could be if Myles Jack continues to get better with experience. The 23-year-old has caught the eyes of his Jaguar teammates, and some of them believe he's the next great NFL linebacker.
"Myles Jack does not get enough [publicity]," Jacksonville safety Tashaun Gipson said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. "I'll say it again: He is going to be one of the best linebackers in the league for years to come."
Jack's solid sophomore season was overshadowed by a controversial play in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. With Jacksonville up 10 points in the fourth quarter, Jack made the play of his young career. He stripped running back Dion Lewis of the football, and had a clear path to the end zone.
Unfortunately, the officials immediately blew the whistle, believing Jack was down by contract. Replays indicated that he wasn't touched, and it should have been a game-sealing pick. The Patriots would score 14 unanswered points to win the game.
But Jack is only entering his prime, and the Jaguars are more than happy with how he's developed at this stage of his career.
"We've got a lot of stuff on his plate each and every week. Last year it was only the nickel stuff," defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. "This year he's got base and nickel, so we've seen him transition in the offseason. What he did last year athletically and how well he came along last year, we thought we always had a really good player."
Jack and the Jaguars were a trendy pick to win the AFC this season, and they get off to an excellent start with a convincing road victory over the New York Giants. One of the biggest regular season games in franchise history will take place when they host the Patriots this Sunday.