No. 4 Jaguars player who must remain healthy: Christan Kirk, WR
You know the Jaguars’ wide receiver corps is in good shape when Laquon Treadwell, one of their top targets late in the 2021 season, and Laviska Shenault, a second-round selection in 2020, are no longer on the roster.
While Treadwell stepped up when the Jags needed him, he was now the fifth or sixth-best receiver on the team, so it wasn’t particularly surprising to see the Jags move on from him ahead of the 2022 season. Similarly, the team’s brass saw enough of Viska to know he was no longer a fit on offense.
Now, Trevor Lawrence has a solid trio of wide receivers in Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Marvin Jones Jr. The Joneses will be an important part of the Jags’ offense but it will be Kirk the one that will get the biggest workload. Or at least, that’s the plan. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have given him a top-market contract in free agency.
The biggest question mark surrounding Kirk is whether he can be a legitimate No. 1 receiver for a full season. Last season, he did a fine job for the Arizona Cardinals in DeAndre Hopkins’ absence but can he do the same for the Jags? Also, can he stay healthy? Sure, the Joneses are fine players but both are better suited for No. 2 roles and neither has Kirk’s versatility to play inside or outside.
The Jags were able to move the ball early in the 2021 season (even if that didn’t lead to many points or wins) but they struggled once DJ Chark Jr. suffered an ankle fracture against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. The Jags can’t afford to lose their No. 1 receiver for the second straight year.