The Jacksonville Jaguars revamped their offense this offseason, but they face several question marks ahead of training camps, which is reflected in a recent power ranking. Jared Dublin of CBS Sports recently ranked every NFL team’s triplets (quarterback, top wide receiver, and running back) and the Jaguars popped up at No. 23, which isn’t great but isn’t bad when you take into account that Jacksonville had trouble moving the ball and scoring points last year.
Regarding the Jags’ spot in the list, Dublin says they got a bump by virtue of not being “longer coached by Urban Meyer” and sees Trevor Lawrence improving in 2022. However, he isn’t thrilled about the state of their wide receiver and running back positions.
"It seems to me like the Jags got a “no longer coached by Urban Meyer” bump in the rankings. Doug Pederson should put Lawrence in much better situations than he was in a year ago, and having professional receiving options should be of great help. But Kirk has never had more than 982 yards in a season, and the track record of “No. 3 wideout on a pretty good offense becomes the No. 1 wideout elsewhere” is very bad. Robinson and Travis Etienne are each coming off torn ACLs."
Technically, Travis Etienne is coming off a Lisfranc injury last preseason while James Robinson is recovering from a torn Achilles he sustained late in the 2021 season. But, Dublin’s point stands. Both running backs suffered severe injuries last year and the coaching staff can’t afford to overwork them and expose them to any potential setbacks. On the other hand, head coach Doug Pederson is known for maximizing his players’ talent, so he will surely put Trevor Lawrence and Christian Kirk in a position to succeed.
How much will the Jaguars offense improve in 2022?
Jacksonville landed above teams such as the Chicago Bears, the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks, and even the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the New England Patriots (21) and the Washington Commanders (22) earned higher spots. On the bright side, the Jaguars could end up ranking higher than both of them by the end of the year.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had a solid rookie campaign, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2021. But offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left this offseason to fill the head-coaching vacancy of the Las Vegas Raiders, and it’s uncertain how much his departure will affect the former Alabama standout. On the other hand, the Commanders have a solid roster but Carson Wentz isn’t the same player he was when he performed at an MVP level in 2017. In fact, he’s in his third team in as many years and left the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts with a not-so-great reputation.
Of course, Lawrence is far from a proven commodity and has a steep hill to climb if he wants to join the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. Working in his favor is that he showed flashes as a rookie and played at a high level in the 2021 season finale. There’s no reason to think he won’t improve considerably under Pederson’s tutelage.
The Jaguars made several upgrades to their offense this offseason and in theory, they should be better than they were last year. However, they won’t be able to really assess their progress until they take the field in Week 1 of the 2022 season.