No. 2 Jaguars player who's exceeded expectations in 2023: Walker Little, OL
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars early in the offseason was what they would do with Walker Little. They gave left tackle Cam Robinson a long-term deal last year, so plugging Little at right tackle seems like the most likely option with Jawaan Taylor expected to leave in free agency.
Little, a second-round pick in 2021, had mostly filled in for Robinson in his first two NFL seasons. He competed with Taylor for the starting job on the right side last year but lost. Still, Little flashed whenever he was given a chance. When Robinson hurt his meniscus late in the 2022 season, Little replaced him and the offensive line didn't miss a beat.
When Taylor signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, Little was his obvious replacement, but Robinson was slapped with a four-game suspension for violations to the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy and Little took his place at left tackle.
Little was a Day 1 starter and did a great job of protecting Trevor Lawrence's blind side the first four games of the season, giving up just one sack and five pressures on 179 pass-blocking snaps.
Once Robinson returned from his suspension, Little moved to left guard, arguably the team's weakest link up front, in Week 5. Unfortunately, the former Stanford Cardinal suffered an MCL injury that's forced him to miss Weeks 6 and 7.
The good news is that head coach Doug Pederson told the media that Walker Little could practice a bit in the upcoming days. He might not suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8 but it's encouraging to hear that he's trending in the right direction. Once he's back, he'll pick up where he left off.