5 Jacksonville Jaguars who must earn bigger roles in 2022

A Jacksonville Jaguars fan at TIAA Bank Field. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
A Jacksonville Jaguars fan at TIAA Bank Field. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Walker Little (72). Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4 Jaguars player who must earn a bigger role – Walker Little, OT.

Of all the players on the list, offensive tackle Walker Little might face the steepest hill to climb in 2022. A second-round pick in 2021, the former Stanford Cardinal spent most of his rookie campaign on the sidelines and only got to start when left tackle Cam Robinson wasn’t good to go.

Looking back, the Jags took a moderate gamble when they selected Little. After all, he tore his ACL back in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 season. It had been almost two years since he played a football game that mattered. However, he quickly put any potential doubts about his physical condition to rest when he showed up to offseason activities, getting praise from both Urban Meyer and former Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop.

Little ended up starting three games last season and showed flashes in the last two. He allowed two sacks in Week 6 but none in Weeks 17 and 18. The problem he’s facing in 2022 is that there aren’t currently any spots available in the starting lineup. Cam Robinson is entrenched as the starting left tackle after signing a three-year deal worth $54 million while Jawaan Taylor is slated to start at right tackle. Similarly, a move to left guard seems unlikely, meaning that Little will have to either ride the bench or compete with Taylor for the starting job.

Barring injuries to Robinson or Taylor, Little might start the season in a backup role but that doesn’t mean he should.