What each Jacksonville Jaguars rookie will struggle with during 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Luke Farrell #89 (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Luke Farrell – Jacksonville Jaguars tight end

Biggest obstacle: Athleticism

Tight end was one of the Jaguars’ biggest offseason needs in 2021. Although they had the chance to pursue someone like Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry in free agency, they opted to sign Chris Manhertz instead. Then, they pass up the opportunity to draft Pat Friermuth and waited until the fifth round to take Luke Farrell.

The former Buckeye product has limited athleticism, running a 4.81 40-yard dash in his pro day. Although he has good hands as a receiver, he isn’t quick nor explosive. Also, he hauled in just 34 receptions for 380 yards with four touchdowns during his collegiate career. General manager Trent Baalke believes he was underutilized at Ohio State, and the Jags don’t currently have a true number-one tight end. This could help Farrell work his way up the depth chart in training camp.

Jordan Smith – Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE defender

Biggest obstacle: Opportunities

The Jaguars had trouble getting to opposing quarterbacks last season but new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen believes the defense should be able to double their sack totals from 2020. This isn’t hyperbole when you consider that the bar isn’t particularly high; the Jags logged just 17 sacks last season. Josh Allen should be fully healthy and sophomore K’Lavon Chaisson is poised for a breakout season. Also, they signed Jihad Ward and Roy Robertson-Harris in free agency.

Moreover, the team’s brass brought back Adam Gotsis and Dawuane Smoot. This may leave rookie Jordan Smith without many opportunities to showcase his talents in 2021.