A team is exempt from being selected for the HBO series Hard Knocks if they meet one of three requirements. Any organization that either (1) has a first-year head coach, (2) has made the playoffs in the past two seasons or (3) has been on the show in the past ten years cannot be chosen. Being the subject of the hit series is generally seen as a distraction that is deleterious to a team’s offseason progress. While any franchise can volunteer for the show, it rarely happens. One organization that media members believe would benefit from voluntarily appearing on the program is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars may well be interested in the increased national attention, considering their large number of recent and impending franchise-altering decisions. For example, the team recently hired college football legend Urban Meyer as head coach. The 2021 NFL season will be the former Florida and Ohio State coach’s first year at the professional level. Moreover, the Jaguars own the first overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The player eventually taken with that pick will hopefully be a cornerstone of Jacksonville football for years to come. The franchise also has the 25th overall selection and two second-round choices. These high-profile rookies will serve as an exciting young core for the Jaguars moving forward. The combination of a rookie head coach, the number one overall pick and the entire pool of incoming first-year talent would make for an interesting storyline on the HBO series.
Outside of notable rookies, Jacksonville is positioned to make a splash in free agency. The Jaguars have substantial cap space to bring in recognizable names. These athletes would both help turn the organization around and make Jacksonville an attractive Hard Knocks selection.
Finally, the Jaguars would be an exciting host for the beloved HBO series, thanks to their 2020 rookie class. First-round picks C.J. Henderson (ninth overall pick) and K’Lavon Chaisson (20th overall pick) each had several bright spots during their debut season. Second-round selection Laviska Shenault (42nd overall pick) also established himself as a unique offensive weapon. Last but not least, undrafted free agent James Robinson was one of the league’s most productive running backs in 2020. Hard Knocks would offer a glance behind the scenes at the group of young talent’s expected development.
While the Jaguars are technically exempt from being selected as the subject of the HBO series’s 17th season, the team may hope to gain national exposure by volunteering to be on the show. A Jacksonville-centered Hard Knocks would benefit all parties involved. The network would have multiple storylines to choose from, the franchise would draw attention to its underappreciated pool of talent and the viewers would enjoy the insight into a still-developing team amidst a massive rebuild. Where there is smoke, there is fire; the Jacksonville Jaguars are an exciting sleeper to be featured on HBO’s 2021 season of Hard Knocks.
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