When the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Jamal Agnew in free agency, they knew they were getting a player that would give the return game a boost. However, they probably didn’t imagine he would become have an impact on both their offense and special teams. Not surprisingly, the 2017 fifth-round pick popped up in a unique list.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report drew up recently discussed every NFL team’s biggest surprises of the 2021 season and Agnew was the pick for the Jaguars. He points out the San Diego product has thrived as a wide receiver in Jacksonville after playing cornerback during the first three years of his career. Kay believes Agnew can become a reliable target in the passing game and someone quarterback Trevor Lawrence can trust.
"With No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence still getting accustomed to life in the NFL, Agnew has a chance to become one of the young quarterback’s top targets. It will take some time for both the QB and WR to get adjusted, but this battery has a surprising amount of promise."
With DJ Chark out for the year, Agnew’s role on offense has increased. After appearing in 28 offensive snaps in the first four weeks of the 2021 season, he’s played 84 in the last two. Also, 11 of his 12 catches this year have come in just the last two games.
Jamal Agnew is a playmaker for the Jaguars on special teams and offense.
As important as Agnew’s role on offense will be for the remainder of the season, don’t forget his contributions on special teams. Kay only focused on his impact as a wide receiver but he has also been a key cog on the Jaguars’ return game.
After all, Agnew had touchdown returns in back-to-back weeks. One was a 10-2 yard kickoff return in Week 2. The following week against the Arizona Cardinals, he had a 109-yard return. This time though it was failed field goal. In the process, he became only the third player in league history to log a 109-yard return.
Agnew’s play earned him AFC Special Team Player of the Month honors. Also, the cleats he wore in Week 3 made the Pro Football Hall of Fame, that’s how outstanding the play was. Although he hasn’t had another touchdown return, he’s still playing an important role on special teams.
Moving forward, the Jaguars’ coaching staff must find the right balance and not overuse Agnew on offense, as having a bigger workload on offense could reduce his effectiveness in the return game. One thing is clear though, Agnew has been a pleasant surprise in 2021 and one of the Jags’ best offseason additions.