Jaguars' training camp is right around the corner. I recently put together a video/podcast series breaking down each of the Jaguars' position groups, offering in-depth insights and analysis. Here, I've shortened the examinations and grouped the offense all in one place. You can expect a defensive position group grade in the coming days.
The bottom line is that Trevor Lawrence is one of the most talented quarterbacks I've ever evaluated, and nothing I saw in his rookie year leads me to believe otherwise. Pairing Lawrence with Super Bowl Champion head coach Doug Pederson — a QB guru and offensive whiz — is a match made in heaven. With his quick strike, modern offense that also features pre-snap movement, RPOs, read options, play action, and a zone-heavy rushing attack, Pederson will get the most out of the former number one overall pick in 2022, and the football world will remember just how talented this duo is.
Yes, Travis Etienne and James Robinson are both coming off significant foot injuries. But Etienne was cleared before the end of the 2021 season and has looked electric in every exposure this offseason. He was the most explosive back in the country, and — just like his quarterback and head coach — Etienne will remind the NFL just how good he can be. Likewise, when James Robinson returns to health, he'll provide one of the most stabilizing presences in the league at the position, having excelled in all phases throughout his first two years. And don't sleep on fifth-round pick Snoop Conner. He has a three-down skill set and a hard-nosed running style.
The Jaguars have a lot of fun names in their WR room and plenty of depth. They don't have an alpha, but the combination of Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones, Zay Jones, Laviska Shenault, Jamal Agnew, and Laquon Treadwell, should provide a level of reliability and consistency that was not seen in Jacksonville last season. Kirk is a perfect chess piece for Doug Pederson to shift around the formation, and he caught an incredible 74% of his targets in 2021. Marvin Jones is a possession receiver with veteran savvy and the ability to go up and get the ball above the rim. Between Jones, Shenault, Agnew, and Treadwell, each can do something different for the offense and serve a purpose. Still, you'd like to give your young quarterback a legit number one, and I don't see that on this roster.
Brandon Scherff, Walker Little, and Luke Fortner are all highly talented, while left tackle Cam Robinson continues to improve year in and year out and is now entering the prime of his career with a shiny new contract. Little and fourth-year tackle Jawaan Taylor are duking it out at right tackle — whichever player loses out on that battle will make for a fine swing tackle. On the interior, Tyler Shatley is a stabilizing presence at center, while third-year guard Ben Bartch appears to be an ascending talent. This group has enough talent and depth to get the job done, especially in a more OL-friendly scheme and with new OL coach Phil Rauscher teaching them up. But I think they could have taken a more significant swing at tackle, one of the most valuable positions in the game today.
Evan Engram is many things. For Giants fans, he's a bust. But for fans of the Big Cats, he's an intriguing "reclamation project." Well, sort of. Engram wasn't a bust for the Giants, not really. While he had some inconsistencies in his play throughout his five years in the Big Apple, Engram was still highly productive. And let's be honest, who hasn't been inconsistent for the G-Men in recent years? In five seasons, he hauled in 262 catches and 16 touchdowns. Those numbers would be good for second place on the Jaguars' all-time tight end list. Pairing Engram with Trevor Lawrence, the most talented quarterback who's ever thrown him the ball, and Doug Pederson, the tight end whisperer, is an easy grouping to like. And, hey, even if it's the same ole' Evan Engram, he's still an athletic marvel who runs crisp routes and makes jaw-dropping grabs look routine. Dan Arnold is still in town too, and he proved to be a reliable F-tight end for the Jaguars in 2021 after coming over from Carolina. And Chris Manhertz, one of the league's best blocking tight ends, is still in the building too. This is an above-average group at the top, and with 2021 Luke Farrell showing development as a balanced tight end, they could have some serious depth too.
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