DJ Chark Says Jaguars are 'Gonna Shock A Lot of People' Next Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 3, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 27: DJ Chark Jr. #17 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at TIAA Bank Field on December 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. said Friday the team is going to "shock a lot of people" during the 2021 season.

Chark discussed his outlook and expectations for the Jags' upcoming campaign on NFL Network's NFL Total Access:

"Just to go out there and compete, be better than what we were last year. The 1-15 season is somewhere that we don't want to go back. Everyone that's here understands that. The guys that came in came from a lot of winning programs, so we're trying to develop that winning culture and just that comradery here, and I think we're going to do really good. I think we're gonna shock a lot of people. I'm not one of the people that's huge on setting record goals or anything like that, or saying how many wins or losses we're gonna have, but we're gonna be an exciting football team for sure."

Jacksonville certainly has plenty of reasons for optimism after an offseason overhaul.

The Jaguars hired Urban Meyer, who posted a 187-32 record and won three national championships at the collegiate level, as their new head coach and selected Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012, with the first overall pick in the draft.

They also had three other picks inside the draft's top 50, which allowed them to bring in Clemson running back Travis Etienne, Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell and Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little.

In addition, the Jags added wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. in free agency but focused most of their free-agent resources on upgrading the defense, led by the signings of cornerback Shaquill Griffin, safety Rayshawn Jenkins and defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris.

The sheer amount of talent around Lawrence—Chark, Jones, Etienne, James Robinson, Carlos Hyde and Laviska Shenault Jr.—combined with the defensive improvements should put the Jaguars on the fast track up the standings beginning this season.

Chark expressed excitement about the aerial attack's upside on NFL Total Access:

"We take a lot of responsibility and accountability when it comes to the passing game. Marvin coming in, [he's] a dynamic player. Laviska being young and so dynamic, me still trying to reach new heights. I think we have a lot to prove, but I think it's gonna come together real smooth. And definitely being able to have Trevor back there, it's crazy how that he's so young and so talented. So, the sky is the limit, really, with us right now. We don't know how great we can be, but we know we can be great, for sure."

Given the widespread alterations to the roster and the coaching change, it could take a while for everything to start clicking for the Jaguars, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see them take off at some point.

A mostly favorable schedule, which ranks 18th based on their opponents' combined 2020 winning percentage, should also work in their favor during the NFL's first 17-game season.

So Chark is right: keep an eye on Jacksonville in 2021.