3 unsung contributors who have stepped up for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season

• The Jaguars are 8-3 heading into Week 13

• Several players have contributed to their success

• These 3 have played important roles this season

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Montaric Brown (30) runs on the field before an NFL football matchup
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Montaric Brown (30) runs on the field before an NFL football matchup / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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1. Luke Farrell

The Jaguars took a best-player-available approach throughout most of the draft because most of their starters on both offense and defense from last year returned in 2023. That included the tight end position. After a breakout season, it was uncertain if Evan Engram was going to hit the open market. The team's brass applied the franchise tag on him just before free agency began but they later agreed to a three-year deal that made him the sixth-highest paid player at the position.

But even with Engram back in the fold, Jacksonville drafted Brenton Strange in Round 2. At the time, they said he liked the former Penn State standout's ability to create plays after the catch. They also believed he was a culture fit, so the decision made sense. Then again, he wasn't going to see much playing time behind Engram in 2023. But even then, Strange was supposed to have a role on offense.

So far, Strange has played 254 snaps on offense (34 percent of the team's total) but has only hauled in four receptions for 34 yards. Granted, one was for a touchdown but you usually expect bigger production from your second-round pick. That hasn't been the case with Strange. Meanwhile, fellow tight end Luke Farrell has hauled in 11 receptions for 111 yards and has appeared on 38 percent of the Jaguars' offensive snaps this year.

Just recently, Doug Pederson praised Farrell, who's in his third NFL season, pointing out that the coaching staff has designed plays for him and try to get him involved when possible.

"There's a ton of confidence with Luke, he's a good receiving tight end," Pederson said. "He's got great hands, you can see the strength, the ability to run after the catch that he has," Pederson told the local media after the win against the Houston Texans. "It's been the type of throw that he's getting, short to intermediate, the keep game by Trevor [Lawrence]."

Farrell is also carved a niche as a blocking tight end, posting a 68.5 Pro Football Focus grade on that department this season. He won't be getting any accolades any time soon but it's fair to say that he's developed into a solid role contributor for the Jaguars.

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