The Jacksonville Jaguars are counting on players such as edge rusher Travon Walker and linebacker Devin Lloyd to make a leap in Year 2. On the other hand, they will also need several players to sustain a high level of play if they want to return to the playoffs and win their second division title in a row.
In particular, these four players cannot afford to regress if the Jaguars want to keep trending up in 2023.
No. 4 Jaguars player who can't afford to regress in 2023: Travis Etienne, RB
The Jaguars drafted Travis Etienne 25th overall in 2021 even though James Robinson was coming off a historical rookie campaign. At the time, the decision was puzzling but Etienne has proven to be a wise investment. After suffering a Lisfranc injury that forced him to miss his rookie campaign, the former Clemson Tiger made Robinson expendable and went on to register 1,441 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns.
Even though Etienne will enter 2023 as the RB1 on the depth chart, rookie Tank Bigsby, D'Ernest Johnson, and JaMycal Hasty will be vying for carries. Although he embraces the backfield additions, he will need to hone his craft if he doesn't want to lose too many carries to his teammates.
Working in Etienne's favor is that he will be fully healthy — unlike last year when he was still recovering — and will be able to "fine-tune his skills". One area in particular that Etienne must work on in the offseason is holding onto the football. Last season, he lost five fumbles, and if he has a hard time securing the football, the coaching staff won't hesitate to lean on their other running backs.