The Jacksonville Jaguars went on a spending spree last year and one of their biggest acquisitions was right guard Brandon Scherff, who got a three-year deal worth $49.5 million to replace long-term staple A.J. Cann.
A first-round pick in the 2015 draft, Scherff was a Pro Bowl guard for the Washington Commanders. However, he wasn't nearly as good in his first season with the Black and Teal. That said, there are reasons to believe Scherff could bounce back and play at a high level in Year 2. So what exactly should Jacksonville expect from the former Iowa Hawkeye next season? Here are three realistic expectations.
No. 3 Jaguars RG Brandon Scherff will only allow three sacks in 2023
The Jags paid a premium for Scheff because of how dominant he was with the Commanders. While he became a locker room leader and was named team captain, his performance in 2022 didn't match his compensation. Last year, he gave up a career-high six sacks. Similarly, he posted a 59.0 Pro Football Focus overall grade, the lowest in his NFL career.
While there are reasons — mostly age and injury related — to believe Scherff is declining, the case could be made he had a down year and will return to dominant form in 2023. For starters, the Iowa native dealt with an abdomen injury most of the year but never missed a game despite the fact that he was listed on the Injury Report almost on a weekly basis.
It's reasonable to think that the aforementioned injury affected Scherff's performance and with enough time to heal, he will play much better in 2023. Similarly, he'll be entering his second season under offensive line coach Phil Rauscher, and having more familiarity with the scheme should help him be more effective.
So even though Scherff is 31, he's in a position to play at a high level next year. Thus, projecting him to cut the number of sacks he allowed in 2022 in half seems pretty doable.
No. 2 Jaguars Brandon Scherff won't play all 17 games
One of the biggest concerns surrounding Scherff last season was whether he was going to be able to stay healthy, and he passed the test with flying colors. From 2018-2021, he missed 22 games and he hadn't played a full season since his sophomore year in 2016. Last season though, he appeared in all 17 games in the regular season and two in the playoffs.
As noted before, he was played through injuries, which is admirable. However, it's hard to see him repeating the feat next season. He could but it's equally possible that he will miss a few games, something along the lines of three to five.
No. 1 Brandon Scherff will earn his first Pro Bowl berth with the Jaguars
Scherff made the Pro Bowl five times and got a First-Team All-Pro designation during his seven-year stint with Washington. He's shown he's capable of playing at a high level, and based on the reasons listed before, he should have a favorable shot to earn a Pro Bowl selection in his second season with the Jags.
The team's brass gave Scherff a big contract last year because they believed his presence would give the interior offensive line a huge boost. Expect him to prove him them right in 2023.