1. Parker Washington has been a stud for the Jaguars in 2023
Whereas players drafted in early rounds are expected to have an impact right off the bat, those picked in later rounds are seen as either developmental projects or special teams fodder. But every now and then, teams unveil a few diamonds in the rough. Parker Washington is proving to be one of them.
Washington, a sixth-round selection, has stepped up after Christian Kirk suffered a core injury in Week 13. While the offensive has a bit of a hard time adjusting to Kirk's absence, Washington has done a good job of filling in for him. At 5'10", the former Penn State Nittany Lion lacks the size to thrive in the perimeter but he's a fit for the slot.
Given that Kirk mainly lines up inside and is expected to miss several weeks, Washington will continue to see extensive playing time on offense. In Weeks 13 and 14, he hauled in eight receptions on eight targets for 88 yards with two touchdowns. For a sixth-round pick, those are solid numbers.
Granted, he also lost a fumble in the loss to the Browns. Then again, one look at the play shows that he had a good grip on the football but Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. found a way to dislodge it off his hands.
Either way, Washington hasn't had an issue of drops of fumbles throughout his career, so the one in the Cleveland game is probably an outlier. Once Kirk returns to the lineup, Washington will probably return to the bench but the coaching staff should still find ways to incorporate him in the offense and give him a handful of snaps every game. He's earned it.