Trevor Lawrence should make a huge leap in Year 2 but he isn’t the only member of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2021 draft class that is poised to improve. Cornerback Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco will most likely have an expanded role in the secondary. On the other hand, offensive tackle Walker Little faces a bit less clarity ahead of the 2022 season.
A second-round pick by the Jags last year, Little spent most of his rookie campaign on the bench but showed flashes when given the opportunity. He ended up starting three games (including the last two of the season) and although he gave up two starts in the first one, he didn’t allow any in the following two.
Nevertheless, the former Stanford Cardinal will enter training camp without a defined role. The Jags gave Cam Robinson a three-year, $54 million contract, meaning that left tackle is out of the question for Little. Right tackle might be a possibility but to earn the job, he will need to beat incumbent Jawaan Taylor, who’s made 49 starts at the position. The sophomore offensive lineman is embracing the challenge and says he’s ready to compete, via John Ohsher of the team’s official website.
"You’re always competing with yourself. We’re all competing with each other. Even if you’re a 10-year guy with his spot secured, you always have competition inside you… For me, it’s not about the competition, per se. It’s just competing with myself and being the best version of myself each day and making sure I do my job the best I can. If I can do that, hopefully, the results will be what I want them to be. We’ll figure it out from there."
The Jaguars can’t keep Walker Little on the sidelines in 2022.
Little is right. If he takes care of business, the coaching staff will take notice and will have no choice but to give him playing time. On the other hand, Jawaan Taylor might not give up the starting job so easily. The Jaguars’ brass like him and believe he can play at a high level despite the fact that he struggled with penalties last season.
The Jags were a mess under Urban Meyer and several players, including Trevor Lawrence, underperformed, so it will be interesting to see how they will respond now that head coach Doug Pederson is at the helm. Furthermore, moved on from offensive line coach George Warhop and hired Phil Rauscher to take his place. The change could end up benefiting Taylor., who is entering the last year of his rookie and might be looking for a long-term deal.
Walker has plenty of upside and the team’s brass should still be high on him after using an early-round pick on him last year. The fact that they’re letting him compete for a starting job shows that they think he can become a mainstay of the offensive line.
The Jaguars will hold several position battles in training camp and one of the most intriguing ones will be the one between Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little to start at right tackle. It’s too early to tell how things will play out but there’s no doubt Little has the right mindset and a realistic chance to win.