No. 2 Jaguars player who must remain healthy: Josh Allen, OLB
By now, you may be wondering why not many defensive players showed up on this list, and there’s a simple explanation. The Jaguars have depth at most position groups on defense. They have a talented trio of starting cornerbacks in Shaquill Griffin, Tyson Campbell, and Darious Williams. Also, Tre Herndon is fully healthy after dealing with injuries last year and he can man the slot or play in the boundaries.
Also, Jacksonville’s linebacker corps is stacked after signing Foyesade Oluokun and drafting Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma. Similarly, their safety group, led by Andre Cisco and Rayshawn Jenkins, is in adequate shape, with Andrew Wingard and Daniel Thomas ready to go if called upon.
On the other hand, the Jaguars’ pass rush would suffer a big blow if outside linebacker Josh Allen misses an extended period of time. The former Kentucky Wildcat is by far their best edge rusher and it would be hard to replicate his impact.
Sure, rookie Travon Walker has made strides in his transition to the pros but he’s far from a finished product. Similarly, Dawuane Smoot, who was a key cog of the Jags’ front seven last year, isn’t someone opposing coordinators will game plan for.
Allen made the Pro Bowl in 2019 after logging 10.5 sacks. He hasn’t enjoyed the same kind of success the last couple of years for several reasons but he showed at times last year how dominant he can be when he’s in the zone. He’s poised to have a breakout season in 2022, and without him, the Jags could struggle to get to the quarterback.