The Jacksonville Jaguars expect their offseason additions to contribute as much as possible in 2022 but they will also be counting on players who were on the roster last year, such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence and outside Josh Allen, to make an impact. Coincidentally, both of them, along with right guard Brandon Scherff were named the Jags’ top three players entering the NFL regular season.
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently identified every NFL team’s best players ahead of the 2022 regular season, regardless of the position, and mentioned Lawrence, Allen, and Scherff as Jacksonville’s top three. Linsey thinks that Scherff is the closest the Jaguars’ got to an elite talent in free agency but believes the former Washington Commander guard should still be an upgrade in 2022. On the other hand, he sees Alle as the top edge rusher in Jacksonville and points out that he included Lawrence because of his status as a top collegiate prospect last year.
"The hope is that No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker proves to be a snub on this list, but as of now, Allen still projects as the top edge rusher o this team next season. His 78.6 PFF grade in 2021 was a career-high. Lawrence’s inclusion is based largely on who he was as a prospect coming out of Clemson and the glimpses shown as a rookie. The disastrous environment he was thrown into last season takes much of the blame for his 59.6 PFF grade as a rookie."
Wide receiver Christian Kirk notwithstanding, Scheff was the Jaguars’ crown jewel of their free-agent class. They gave the fifth overall pick in 2015 a three-year deal worth $49.5 million. He will be an upgrade over A.J. Cann, Jacksonville’s last year starter at right guard.
The Jaguars have a few building blocks ahead of the 2022 season.
While you could probably swap Scherff with running back Travis Etienne, Christian Kirk, or even rookie Travon Walker, there’s no doubt Trevor Lawrence and Josh Allen and the Jaguars’ top two players. Both are coming off a season in which they showed flashes and played at a high level at times but not consistently enough.
Allen himself will tell you he needs to be more consistent and has already set super high expectations for this upcoming season. He can dominate the way he did against the Buffalo Bills last season, Jacksonville’s front seven will have a surge in production. On the other hand, Lawrence should improve by virtue of having Doug Pederson as his head coach. Pederson has spent the last few months helping the young passer improve his mechanics, how to conduct himself and how to be the face of the franchise.
Moreover, the organization has added plenty of talent around Allen and Lawrence this offseason. There are several reasons why they both underperformed last year and one of them was that the team lacked talent at key positions. That should no longer be an issue after adding weapons in free agency and fortifying the defense in the players’ selection meeting.
The Jaguars will benefit from all the additions they made in free agency but if they really want to turn the corner in 2022, they will need Trevor Lawrence and Josh Allen to step up.