Jaguars 2022 midseason awards, defensive MVP: Dawuane Smoot, DE
You would’ve probably gotten plenty of blank stares if you had said before the start of the season that defensive end Dawuane Smoot would be leading the Jaguars in sacks after nine weeks but here we are. The former Fighting Illini is far from elite but he makes up for it with sheer will and an outstanding work ethic.
Smoot didn’t register a single sack in his first two NFL seasons but he’s logged 22.5 in the last 57 games and is one away from tying his career-best of six in 2022. While it might be a bit of a challenge, there’s a chance he reaches ten.
Smoot is set to be a free agent in 2023, so the Jaguars’ brass might need to start putting some money aside to bring him back.
Jaguars 2022 midseason awards, offensive MVP: Travis Etienne, RB
Running back Travis Etienne was off to a slow start to the season but he made it difficult for the Jaguars’ coaching staff to keep him on the sidelines. While he only got a combined 13 carries in the first two games, his playing time progressively increased, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL with 680 rushing yards.
Etienne has been such a difference-maker that the Jaguars felt comfortable trading James Robinson, their top running back the last two seasons, to the New York Jets a few weeks ago. The fact that former Clemson Tiger missed his rookie campaign with a Lisfranc injury and is currently playing at a high level makes his success even more impressive and if he keeps playing the way he has in recent weeks, he might have a shot at competing for the rushing title and maybe a Pro Bowl selection.