No. 2 best Jaguars player under 25 in 2022 – Josh Allen, OLB
You might have seen Pro Football Focus’ recent defensive line rankings and to nobody’s surprise, the Jaguars earned a spot near the cellar. However, one reason they didn’t get a favorable review was the omission of outside linebacker Josh Allen. They talk at length about rookie Trevon Walker and how talented yet raw he is. They also bring up the addition of defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi in free agency but they don’t discuss Alle, arguably their best player on defense, in depth.
For context, Allen is the last Jaguars player to earn a Pro Bowl designation and that happened in the distant year of 2019. Sure, cornerback Shaquill Griffin, tight end Evan Engram and right guard Brandon Scherff all have gotten one too but they weren’t playing for the Black and Teal when they earned it.
Sure, Allen hasn’t been the same player since he made the Pro Bowl but that’s because of things out of his control. Sure, he needs to work on his craft and he’s spent the offseason precisely doing that but it’s important to point out that he’s faced several challenges over the last two years. Back in 2020, he suffered a knee injury that limited him to eight games and 2.5 sacks. The Kentucky product fared much better in 2021 but he had to endure the Urban Meyer debacle. He was dominant at times but his performance progressively dropped.
Things are looking up for Allen in 2022. He’s fully healthy and there’s a new regime in place, and that should help him have a breakout year. It’s up to him to show the Jaguars’ brass he deserves to be part of their long-term future.