No. 3 emerging alpha on the Jaguars roster for 2023: Calvin Ridley, WR
How huge was the addition of Calvin Ridley to the Jaguars' offense? Huge, and that's not hyperbole. Even though he hasn't played a snap for the Jags, he's already turning heads and it's only June. Right off the bat, the former Alabama standout has made his presence felt in offseason workouts and that's worth noting because it's hard to stand out in non-contact practices but Ridley has managed to do just that.
In retrospect, the Jaguars deserve lots of credit for acquiring Ridley last year. After all, he was serving an indefinite suspension for betting on football games. On top of that, he was coming off a down season, mustering just 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns, a significant drop from the 90 catches for 1,374 yards with nine scores he had in 2020.
Then again, Ridley was playing with a broken foot and was dealing with lots of off-field stuff. In hindsight, stepping away from football might have been the best decision he could have made, even if then made the mistake of making bets.
Now fully healthy and ready to reclaim his spot as one of the top receivers in today's games, Ridley has set the tone in practices. As fellow wide receiver Christian Kirk recently noted, they're feeding off each other and they're pushing each other to become better.
By the end of the year, nobody should be surprised if he's indeed among the top 5 wideouts in the league. While winning championships is a team effort, Ridley is the kind of difference-makers that can tip the scale and deliver when they're needed the most.