The Jacksonville Jaguars are heading into the 2022 regular season with an improved wide receiver corps. And while the newly acquired Christian Kirk and Zay Jones wil most likely lead the way, veteran Marvin Jones Jr. will also be an important part of the puzzled. In fact, his presence will be huge for the Jags on and off the field.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor met with the local media Thursday and discussed several things, including running back Travis Etienne’s role on offense, competition at the right tackle spot, and Jones’ positive influence in the wide receiver unit.
"He’s always got a smile on his face in the meeting rooms. Very engaged, he asks great questions, and he kind of speaks up. Some of those times you see these veterans ask questions in a meeting room, that I bet you he probably knew the answer to but he knew that somebody probably needed clarity on that, so he’ll ask it on behalf of other people. And that’s what you’d like to see in guys that are the leaders in the position room."
Taylor went on to say that Jones has proven a lot during his time in the NFL, “he kind of carries that respect and then the character he has, the work ethic he has, the production he has, all of that”. Here’s a clip of the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator showering Jones with praise.
Marvin Jones will be an important part of the Jaguars offense
The Jaguars paid a premium for the services of Kirk and Jones, so it’s fair to expect them to have a big role on offense. However, Jones has been as reliable as they come throughout his career, and he should be equally productive under Taylor. From 2017 to 2020, he averaged eight receiving touchdowns per season and 820 yards. Last season, he lead the Jaguars in catches (73), receptions (832), and receiving touchdowns (four).
There’s indeed a good chance Zay Jones and Christian Kirk will take away plenty of targets from Marvin Jones but there’s also a scenario in which he’s even more productive. Last year, Jones became the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver by default when DJ Chark Jr. and Jamal Agnew went down with injuries. Without any other weapons on the roster, opposing defenses had no trouble zeroing in on Jones. Moreover, it’s easy to forget that Trevor Lawrence was just a rookie getting a grasp of the NFL. He should improve immensely in Year 2 under the tutelage of Taylor and head coach Doug Pederson.
While it’s hard to project what Jones’ numbers will look like in 2022, he should be able to reach the end zone six times and get close to the 1,000-yard mark. Kirk will be the leading receiver and Jones will be second.
Most of the additions the Jaguars made this past offseason should have an immediate impact but the team’s brass will also expect a few returning players, such as Marvin Jones, to contribute. Other players will garner more attention but Jones is one of those every head coach would like to have.