4 Jacksonville Jaguars players that cannot afford to regress in 2023

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) celebrates with teammate wide receiver Zay Jones (7).
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) celebrates with teammate wide receiver Zay Jones (7). / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
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No. 3 Jaguars player who can't afford to regress in 2023: Rayshawn Jenkins, S

Urban Meyer had a negative impact on the Jaguars during his short stint in 2021. Besides not putting his players in a position to succeed, morale was at an all-time low, which is why nobody should blame them if they had emotionally tuned out at some point of the season. The silver lining is that head coach Doug Pederson quickly got rid of the stench left by Meyer and got Jacksonville back on track in just his first season at the helm.

Even though the Jags acquired several talented players during the Meyer era, most of them underperformed due to the team's lack of direction. Not surprisingly, once Pederson arrived, said players reached their potential. One of them was safety Rayshawn Jenkins, who signed a four-year deal worth $35 million in 2021 but didn't have a notable impact in his first season with the Black and Teal.

Jenkins, a fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, didn't make any huge plays in 2021, got disqualified from a game for punching San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings and finished the year on the Injured Reserve list.

Nobody would have blamed you if you thought Jenkins was a bad signing last offseason (guilty as charged) but he showed what a difference coaching make in 2022 when he became the player Jacksonville expected when they signed him.

Jenkins registered a career best three forced fumbles and three interceptions. Moreover, he played a huge role in wins against the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans.

The Jaguars added several young players to their secondary in their offseason and if Jenkins can played the way he did in 2022, their defensive backfield will be formidable.