3 Jacksonville Jaguars rookies who could start right away in 2022
It takes a few years to really assess how good a draft class is but optimally, you want to see seem play early, especially the early-round picks. After all, first and second-round selections are for often than not ready to start from Day 1 and there might be a cause for concern if they are watching from the sidelines in their rookie campaign.
Last year, only two members of the Jaguars’ 2021 rookie class started on Day 1 and logged an important amount of playing time throughout the season: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and cornerback Tyson Campbell. This year, these three are a good bet to start against the Washington Commanders in Week 1.
No. 1 Jaguars rookie who could be a Day 1 starter – Luke Fortner, C.
Brandon Linder, a mainstay of the Jaguars’ offensive line since 2014, announced his retirement earlier this year. But even if he hadn’t stepped away, he might have gotten released because he was set to make $10 million in 2022, and none of it was guaranteed.
Knowing Linder wasn’t part of the team’s plans in 2022, the Jags re-signed Tyler Shatley, their primary backup in the interior offensive line. Shatley is the starting center ahead of training camp but he will probably compete with rookie Luke Fortner for the job ahead of the 2022 season.
While Fortner played guard for most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, he successfully pulled off the switch to center last season. Shatley made 18 starts over the last two seasons but Fornter has more upside and it might be a good idea to learn on the job. The former Wildcat will have his fair share of bumps and bruises in his first NFL season but that kind of experience could prove to be invaluable down the road.