Safety Andre Cisco named Jaguars X factor ahead of training camp

Andre Cisco #38 of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Andre Cisco #38 of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Most conversations surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason have focused on either Trevor Lawrence or head coach Doug Pederson. However, there are other players besides the second-year quarterback that could make some noise in 2022. One of them is safety Andre Cisco, who was recently pegged as the Jags’ X-Factor.

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently discussed the weaknesses, the strengths, and the X-Factor for all 32 teams in the NFL, and he sees Cisco as Jacksonville’s X-Factor. Linsey believes the Jaguars could use the safety’s range and ballhawk skills.

"Safety Andre Cisco’s first start last season didn’t come until Week 16, but he had several strong showings in those final three games of the 2021 season. Cisco’s range and playmaker ability were his biggest strengths coming out of Syracuse, though his aggressiveness puts him in bad position at times. The Jaguars’ defense could make use of his tools in a starting role next to Rayshawn Jenkins this season."

Back in college, Cisco appeared in 24 games and recorded 14 passes defensed and 13 interceptions. However, he dealt with injuries during his last two seasons at Syracuse and slid to the third round of last year’s draft, where the Jaguars took him with the 65th overall pick.

Andre Cisco can become a key cog on the Jaguars secondary in 2022

Despite the fact that Cisco won’t be handed the starting job next to Rayshawn Jenkins, he should have no trouble earning it in training camp. He will have to beat incumbent Andrew Wingard who was part of the Jaguars’ defensive lineup for most of the 2021 season up until he was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list with two games left.

Cisco didn’t look out of place and posted solid numbers when he became the starter. From Week 16 to 18, he logged two passes defensed and one forced fumble. Moreover, he nearly snagged an interception against the New York Jets in Week 16. With one year of experience under his belt, he should be able to generate a few takeaways in 2022.

Looking back, it’s fair to wonder why Urban Meyer and his coaching staff didn’t want to give Cisco and other rookies such as Walker Little more playing time even though they performed well when they were given the opportunity. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like Doug Pederson will make the same mistakes his predecessor made and will put Cisco in a position to succeed.

The Jaguars have made several additions to their roster this offseason but they also expect big things from their 2021 draft class. In particular, Cisco needs to turn his potential into consistent production.

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