Movers and shakers say they're encouraged by the Jaguars draft, but still have skepticism
Despite a playoff appearance and a division championship, power players say Jaguars have a way to go
May’s Power Poll Jacksonville shows movers and shakers are encouraged following the NFL Draft in late April and the haul of 13 players selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. But community, business and civic leaders are still a bit cautious of how things might go this year for the Jags, even after a playoff appearance.
For the first time in three years, the Jaguars did not have a first overall pick in the NFL Draft. It’s a sign that the franchise is no longer the worst team in the NFL. Power Poll respondents said they are relieved the Jags didn’t have a first draft pick until nearly the end of the first of seven rounds.
Some 55% of those who took part in the poll said they’re glad they aren’t the worst team with the first overall pick while 21% said the draft is overrated and none of the picks mean anything until they start playing games. Another 13% said they know it’s a good thing the Jags don’t have the first overall pick, but they miss the attention the team gets when they have that first choice while 11% said they’re not sure what to make of the draft.
Trent Baalke, the general manager of the Jaguars, is getting a bit more respect from fans after taking heat and ridicule when the Jaguars were in the cellar of the league. Some 61% of the power players who participated in the poll said making the playoffs was good, but it takes a lot before a GM proves their value in the NFL and they are cautiously optimistic. Another 14% of respondents say Baalke is still shaky, 16% said they’re not sure about Baalke and 9% said Baalke has proven all the doubters wrong.
While the Jaguars won the AFC South Division last season and chalked up one victory in the playoffs, community leaders in Jacksonville are a bit hesitant to say the team has turned the corner from their bottom-of-the-barrel ways. Out of those taking part in the Power Poll, 59% said the 2022 season was a great ride but it’s only one season and the Jaguars have more work to do before they can be considered a great team.
Another 30% of those taking part in the poll say 2022 was such a great season the team can only get better while 4% said 2022 was a fluke and they’re weary about getting their hopes and 7% said they’re not sure.
About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.