Trevor Lawrence is rightfully getting the spotlight ahead of the 2022 regular season. After all, he’s being put in a position to succeed in Year 2. However, the former Clemson Tiger isn’t the only member of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2021 draft class that is poised for a big leap in Year 2. Safety Andre Cisco has the tools to become a difference-maker in the Jags’ secondary and should get more attention.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently drew up a list of NFL sophomores ready to ascend to start status. Lawrence made the cut but you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think he will improve considerably. Of course, quarterbacks make more headlines because they play the more important position in football, so it’s not surprising that Lawrence got the nod. But Cisco is also poised to get better in 2022.
Had the former Orangeman entered the draft with a clean bill of health, he might have been selected in the first or second round but he slid to the third due to injuries he had in his last two collegiate campaigns. He first suffered a low-body injury in 2019 and a torn ACL the following season.
In spite of his injury history, Cisco didn’t have any setbacks or limitations in training camp. In fact, he earned the highest grade among rookie safeties in the preseason. But that wasn’t enough to earn the starting job, and began the season on the bench. Although he was mostly relegated to special teams, he started the last three games of the year and showed the range and athleticism that help him become a playmaker at Syracuse.
The Jaguars need to give Andre Cisco a chance to show what he can do
Back in college, Cisco played 24 games and logged 13 interceptions, 14 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. While it’s unrealistic to expect him to post that kind of numbers in the pros, he fared well in the three games he started last year. Thus, it’s not surprising to see him get “valuable snaps” in the Jaguars’ Organized Team Activities and hear head coach Doug Pederson speak highly of him, per Brett Hawn of Jaguar Report.
"He’s a great communicator, just watching him with the defense and how he moves and how he fits. Again. It’s going to be really good for him once we do get the pads on and see his physicality and how he can play. He’s a really good football player for us and I’m excited to watch him during training camp."
Of course, there’s a long way to go before the regular season, and it’s common to see players struggle to make adjustments once the pads are on. Nevertheless, this isn’t Cisco’s first rodeo and although he has limited experience in the pros, all those snaps he had last year will prove to be valuable in 2022. Rayshawn Jenkins is set to start at safety, and Cisco will most likely compete with Andrew Wingard for the other spot, a battle he should be able to win.
The Jaguars will need more production from their 2021 draft class this upcoming season if they want to win more games. That’s why Cisco needs to step up and become the playmaker he’s expected to be. Fortunately, it looks like he’s on the right track.