Why the Jacksonville Jaguars Will Have the Most Improved Offense in 2014

Dan GriffinContributor IIIMay 25, 2014

Marqise Lee is just one of many new faces that are looking to turn this offense around.
Marqise Lee is just one of many new faces that are looking to turn this offense around.Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars fielded one of the most abysmal offenses in the league last year. They averaged a paltry 15.4 points a game (32nd), 293.8 total yards per game (31st) and 78.8 yards rushing per game (31st).

The passing game primarily did as well as it did (22nd in the league) because the team was playing from behind a lot and had to throw more often.

The front office knew changes needed to be made if the Jaguars were going to compete with the Colts and the Texans in their division. The changes they made, however, did more than that. The numerous additions on offense assured that the Jaguars would have the most improved offense in the league. 

In free agency, the Jaguars managed to sign one of the best guards on the market in Denver's Zane Beadles.

Beadles has been a four-year starter since being drafted. He does have some room for improvement, but is entering the prime of his career, so he should start playing at an even higher level. He is more of a run-blocker, and that skill set is sure to be called upon a lot a lot this season. 

The other major addition on offense in free agency was running back Toby Gerhart. Gerhart comes from Minnesota, where he saw limited action while backing up Adrian Peterson.

However, when he did see action, he made the most of it. He holds a career average of 4.7 yards per carry. Last year, he averaged 7.9 YPC, compiling 283 yards on just 36 carries.

Gerhart is tasked with the role of replacing the franchise's second-leading all-time rusher, Maurice Jones-Drew, who left for Oakland.

Gerhart has the physical tools needed to succeed in the NFL as a power back. He can easily break through arm tackles while also lowering his shoulder to run through harder hits.

Gerhart also brings a good receiving threat to the team, being very adept at running screens, as you can see in the video below:

Through the draft, the Jaguars made two big upgrades at the receiver position that should start paying dividends this season. In the second round, they drafted Marqise Leewho dropped out of the first roundand Allen Robinson.

Each receiver brings something a little different to the table.

Lee is an exceptional route-runner and possesses spectacular after-the-catch ability. He is very shifty running with the ball, allowing him to easily juke around defenders. He has excellent game speed, being able to shift to the next gear suddenly to blow by defenders.

He looks to be a prototypical slot receiver.

Allen Robinson, on the other hand, is your standard No. 1 receiver. At 6'3", 220 pounds, Robinson is a big target who has a knack for coming down with contested balls.

Despite his size, he has deceptive speed and amazing after-the-catch ability as welljust ask Ohio State. He is a sure-handed receiver who can box a corner out to make difficult catches.

Lee and Robinson will fill similar roles to those of Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas in Denver.

Going off this comparison, Cecil Shorts III would then fill the Eric Decker role. Shorts has been a nice surprise for Jacksonville after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. He has been the team's leading receiver in the past two seasons, totaling over 1,700 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Another X-factor for the Jaguars is Denard Robinson. He is an electric runner who just needs a bit of refinement as a running back. He has speed to burn and can outrun most players on the field.

He will be a perfect complement to Gerhart's power-run style. If he can master the position, he will be just another exciting playmaker on this offense.  

With this combination of players at the skill positions, the Jaguars' front office certainly has done wonders turning this unit around.

This is a group of players that I fully expect to make up a top-15 offense in the league. Once rookie quarterback Blake Bortles progresses a bit more and reaches his potential, we could see the beginning of one of the dominant offenses of the next decade.