Andre Cisco named the Jaguars secret superstar for the 2024 season

• The Jaguars have a game-changer in Andre Cisco, whom PFF dubbed their secret superstar

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andre Cisco (5) claps for fans after an NFL football matchup Sunday,
Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andre Cisco (5) claps for fans after an NFL football matchup Sunday, / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA
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The Jacksonville Jaguars will need to make upgrades to the roster if they want to challenge the Houston Texans for the AFC South title in 2024. Working in their favor is that the cupboard isn't entirely bare. The safety in position, in particular, has a surplus of talent. In fact, Thomas Valentine of Pro Football Focus believes Andre Cisco is one of the Jags' best players right now, going as far as to call him their top-secret weapon.

Valentine recently identified each NFL team's best secret superstar. He believes Cisco is Jacskonville's, noting that he's low-key become one of their most dependable players in the defensive back end.

"Cisco has quietly been a dependable figure on the Jaguars' defense for the last two seasons, earning a 67.1 PFF grade in 2022, a 68.9 PFF grade in 2023 and a 71.5 PFF coverage grade this season.

The third-year safety proved his ability to be a ballhawk too, snagging four interceptions in the secondary and helping the Jaguars defense earn a top-10 PFF coverage grade in 2023."

A third-round pick in 2021, Cisco entered the draft process with medical flags, having suffered a handful of injuries in college. The former Syracuse Orangeman has successfully put down any questions about his availability, managing to stay mostly healthy the past three years. On top of that, his ballhawk skills have carried over the NFL. As Valentino noted, he's become one of the Jaguars' top playmakers in the secondary.

Surprisingly, Urban Meyer decided to keep Cisco on the sidelines for most of his rookie season. It wasn't until the end of 2021 that he got playing time. He took advantage of his chance and did more than enough to earn the starting job the following year.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a playmaker in Cisco

The truth is that Cisco isn't as "secret" as Valetino implied. Maybe the safety doesn't get as much recognition as he deserves around the league, but he's nonetheless a game-changer. Having said that, the New York, Queens native's got room for improvement. He didn't play nearly as well down the stretch. While he wasn't the sole reason for the defense's collapse in the second half of the season, Cisco acknowledges that they didn't know how to deal with the hype and expectations.

The taste of failure will probably linger through the offseason, and the Jaguars will use it as motivation to bounce back in 2024. Working in Cisco's and his teammates' favor is that there's a new defensive backs coach in town, Kris Richard.

Although Cisco and other Jaguars players thrived under former defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend, having Richard in the mix could help him put it all together. During the heyday of the Legion of Boom, Richard was the Seattle Seahawks defensive backs coach and oversaw the likes of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. While Cisco is a different type of safety, there's a strong chance he will also thrive under Richard's tutelage.

It's also worth noting that Cisco could have an even bigger role both on and off the field. Veteran Rayshawn Jenkins is entering the last year of the $35 million contract he signed in 2021. The Jags need a bit of cap relief and could part ways with him to free up space. If they do move on from Jenkins, Cisco could see his responsibilities increase in 2024.

While the Jaguars' defense could undergo a makeover, Cisco remains one of their top players. Entering a contract year, he'll be incentivized to take his game to the next level in 2024.

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