No. 3 Jaguars player who doesn’t get enough respect: Daniel Thomas
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, the 2020 Jaguars were a mess. Head coach Doug Marrone and his staff seemed to be going through the motions, waiting for the year to end. Sure, they were competitive at times — the game against the Minnesota Vikings comes to mind — but their bright spots were far and few between, which eventually led to the rightful dismissal of then general manager Dave Caldwell.
The one thing Marrone got right was giving his young players ample playing time. Cornerback C.J. Henderson was a starter from Day 1 and so was wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. An underperforming Taven Bryan was benched in favor of DaVon Hamilton and even safety Daniel Thomas earned a starting role. He ended up playing 162 snaps and logging one interception, two passes defensed, and 18 total tackles. Alas, an arm injury cut his season short.
But instead of giving Thomas a shot in 2021, the team’s brass signed Rayshawn Jenkins in free agency and drafted Andre Cisco. The Auburn product made two starts when injuries depleted the Jaguars’ safety room. However, he’s poised to return to the bench in 2022.
Thomas is far from a Pro Bowl safety but it feels like he hasn’t gotten a fair shot during his NFL career. It’s fair to wonder how things would have played out if he had managed to stay healthy in 2020. Would the front office have signed Jenkins?