Choosing a player with the first overall pick in the draft is no easy task. Pick the right one and you will have a cornerstone player for years to come. On the other, taking the wrong one can set your franchise back for several years. Even though quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the most talented prospect to come out of the collegiate ranks, the Jacksonville Jaguars still had to do their due diligence before zeroing in on him.
In the end, it looks like the Jags got the pick right, as Lawrence has played well and is showing growth every single week. However, the rest of Jacksonville’s draft class hasn’t had the same impact as the former Clemson Tiger. Head coach Urban Meyer recently gave an assessment of some of the Jaguars’ first-year players. Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen recently spoke to the media and also shared his thoughts on a couple of rookie defenders.
Cullen was asked about safety Andre Cisco, who has seen his playing time on defense decrease after playing 23 snaps in the season opener.
"We had a little package for him the other day and he did well on it. We had a package where he came in, covered the running back who had done a good job and he did a good job with that. Just continuing developing."
Later, the defensive coordinator talked about defensive tackle Jay Tufele, who played 13 defensive snaps in Week 5 but injured his hand during warmups ahead of the Jaguars’ game versus the Miami Dolphins.
"Jay, he played solid the week before he’s been practicing. Unfortunately he got injured, you know in pregame but he’s been coming along well."
The Jaguars’ brass isn’t going to bash their own players. After all, they were the ones that choose them. Nevertheless, their 2021 rookie class isn’t contributing much. If any other first-year player on offense or defense besides Lawrence had an impact, this Jacksonville team could be better than it currently is. There’s still plenty of time left in the season for one of them to step up but so far, the early returns aren’t encouraging.