5 most disappointing Jacksonville Jaguars players from the 2023 season

• The Jaguars underachieved in 2023. Some of that falls on coaching. Some of it on execution, but this five players without a doubt didn't meet expectations.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Tank Bigsby (4) runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans during
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Tank Bigsby (4) runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans during / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next

2. Luke Fortner, center

Availability is the most important skill in the NFL. It doesn't matter that you're the most talented player if you can't get on the football field, and center Luke Fortner deserves praise for not missing a single snap throughout his entire NFL career. The past two years, he has played every possible snap on offense and has gone on to start 34 consecutive games. But that's where the positives end for the former Kentucky Wildcat.

A third-round pick in the 2022 draft, Farrell was a day one starter, even though he only began to get first-team reps until training camp. By all accounts, his rookie campaign went fine. Like any first-year player, the center had a few rough stretches, along with some flashes. While he wasn't great, he wasn't dreadful, giving up one sack and 32 pressures. Head coach Doug Pederson made sure to praise him but also acknowledged that he had room for improvement in Year 2.

Unfortunately, Fortner regressed in 2023, allowing four sacks and 28 total pressures. But as subpar as he was in pass protection, he was worse in run blocking. In fact, he was one of the reasons the team struggled to run the ball in the middle. In Trevor Lawrence's failed quarterback sneak against the Tennessee Titans, you can see Fortner is manhandled.

Of course, that's just one play but it was an accurate representation of how Fortner's sophomore campaign went. Following an underwhelming 2023, it's not hyperbole to say that center needs to be one of the team's top priorities. They must either use an early-round pick on the position or sign a veteran free agent. Either way, they cannot afford to wait for Fortner any longer.