5 Jaguars players who vastly improved their play after slow start to the season

• Some Jaguars players had an impact right out of the gate this season. Others needed a bit of time to hit their stride, including the 5 on this list.

Oct 29, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff (68) blocks
Oct 29, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff (68) blocks / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Trevor Lawrence, QB

Trevor Lawrence was dubbed a generational talent coming out of college. Maybe that's why expectations around him were a bit off. The former Clemson Tiger struggled in his rookie campaign. To be fair, most Jaguars players did but that was because of the Urban Meyer debacle. To get Lawrence on the right track, the Jaguars hired a quarterback-friendly head coach in Doug Pederson, who spent five years with the Philadelphia Eagles and took them to the Super Bowl in 2017.

Under Pederson's tutelage, Lawrence showed improvement in 2022. But he also left a bit to be desired, making several costly mistakes early in the season. But then, a switch flipped and he elevated his play the rest of the way, playing a huge role in wins over the Baltimore Ravens, and the Dallas Cowboys.

Lawrence was expected to take another step forward and solidify his place as an upper-echelon quarterback in Year 3. However, he got off to a slow start, and his numbers didn't pop off the stat sheet. Then again, the only reason Steezy Trev wasn't playing as well as he could was because he wasn't getting good protection up front. As recently as Week 11, he was pressured on 43 percent of his dropbacks that took 2.5 to 4.0 seconds, the highest rate in the league.

With the offensive line settling in recent weeks, Lawrence has had more time to throw the ball. Also, the coaching staff has dialed up more deep shots. The fact that a knee injury had bothered him a bit also had a role in the quarterback's not-so-great performance at the midpoint of the season.

It may be a small sample but in wins against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, Lawrence showed what he can do when he's healthy and has time to throw, completing 67.8 percent of his passes for 626 yards with three passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and one interception.

A Pro Bowl berth may not be feasible in 2023, but there's no doubt Trevor Lawrence is currently one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

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