3 roster needs the Jaguars must address following the Calvin Ridley trade
Trevor Lawrence should be thrilled that the Jacksonville Jaguars acquired wide receiver Calvin Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons just hours before this year’s trade deadline. Although Ridley can’t play until 2023 due to the one-season suspension he’s currently serving after betting on football games last year, Lawrence should have no trouble waiting.
With Ridley joining a group that includes Zay Jones and Christian Kirk, the Jags won’t probably allocate significant resources to their wide receiver corps next offseason. They should instead turn their attention to other position groups that are in need of help, which might be tough when you take into account that the Jags are set to be $400,000 over the cap in 2023.
Then again, the Jaguars’ brass could free up cap space by axing a few players and restructuring a few deals. Simply, they can’t afford to neglect the next three position groups in 2023.
No. 3 position group the Jaguars must address in 2023: Edge rusher
The Jaguars took Travon Walker with the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft but he was seen as a long-term project coming out of college and that’s turned out to be the case. Despite the fact that he’s played 85 percent of the Jaguars’ total snaps on defense this season, he’s mostly been a non-factor in pass-rush situations, posting one of those worst win rates in the league.
On the other hand, outside linebacker Josh Allen will be in the fifth year of his rookie deal. While the former Kentucky Wildcat has been good, you will probably be hard-press to find someone who thinks he’s an elite edge defender. The production simply isn’t there.
Allen might very well become elite but he’s not there yet. When you take into account that both Arden Key and Dawuane Smooth are set to become free agents in 2023, pass rusher suddenly becomes a need for the Jags.
On the bright side, Jacksonville is expected to hold a high selection in next year’s draft and there will be several intriguing prospects in the top 10. Will Anderson Jr., anyone?