4 Jacksonville Jaguars who could be nice surprises in 2024

• These 4 players could turn out be nice surprises for the Jaguars next season.

Aug 19, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Elijah Cooks (84) stiff
Aug 19, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Elijah Cooks (84) stiff / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Brenton Strange, tight end

One of the biggest disappointments for the Jaguars in 2023 was tight end Brenton Strange. A second-round pick last year, he was expected to earn a key role on offense behind Evan Engram. However, he was mostly a non-factor, hauling in a measly five receptions for 35 yards with one touchdown. While he fared well as a blocker, Jacksonville surely expected more from him after using the 61st overall pick on him.

What's worse is that the Jags could've drafted Luke Musgrave, Michael Myers, or Sam LaPorta early in the second round. Sure, they would've needed to trade down, as all of them were gone at 61st. However, it would've been worth it, as all of them went on to make an impact. Having said that, it's too early to give up on the former Penn State Nittany Lion.

When the Jags drafted Strange, they said they liked his ability to create yards after the catch while pointing out that he was a culture fit. It's fair to say that not much has changed. Did they expect more from him last year? Sure, but tight ends don't always have an impact right out of the gate and need a bit of time to hit their stride. It's not much different with Strange.

As a matter of fact, head coach Doug Pederson said at the NFL owners' meeting that he envisions Strange doing more in Year 2. If he does improve, the Jaguars will feel more comfortable using the two-tight end sets Pederson has preferred to run throughout his career.

The jury is still out for Brenton Strange. All eyes should (rightly) be on him in training camp. Working in his favor is that he's still the same talented player he was in college. He just needs to put it all together.

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