Tight end may be Jaguars most improved position in 2022

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88). (Imagn Images photo pool)
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88). (Imagn Images photo pool) /
1 of 3
Tight end Julius Thomas (80) of the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The state of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ tight end position group has greatly improved over the last two offseasons. This is noteworthy when you take into account that the team had previously struggled to replenish this position group with high-end talent after they parted ways with Marcedes Lewis.

Ahead of the 2022 season, the Jags have more talent in their tight end room now than they have had in a long time but it’s been a bumpy road, to say the least.

The Jaguars failed to upgrade their tight end room in the mid-2010s.

The Jags have taken a few swings on veteran tight ends over the years but have struck out several times. The Jags tried to bring in Julius Thomas from the Denver Broncos during free agency in 2015. Many fans were high on the move because of the success Thomas had with Peyton Manning. But Thomas never made much of an impact without a star passer like the one he had in Denver.

Thomas was brought in to complement Marcedes Lewis who is seen as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. But in the end, he only played two years out of the five years deal he signed before he was traded to the Miami Dolphins.

James O’Shaughnessy was claimed off waivers in 2017 and had the longest tenure at the position since Marcedes Lewis. He enjoyed some success catching passes from various quarterbacks since he joined the team but has also been hindered by injuries since 2019. He seemed to have established a rapport with quarterback Gardner Minshew having his best season in 2020 but it was cut short by injury and he only ended up with 28 receptions and just two touchdowns.

After cutting ties with both Lewis and Thomas, the Jags brought in Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2018. They were fresh off an AFC championship appearance and were seemingly a few pieces away on offense from becoming a super bowl caliber team. Seferian-Jenkins was expected to take the offense to the next level. Alas, an injury took him out early in his first season in Jacksonville and the team declined the second-year option on his contract.