Jacksonville Jaguars OT Walker Little can ease the departure of Jawaan Taylor in NFL Free Agency
The departure of Jawaan Taylor in free agency left a void at right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though they could find his replacement in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Clay Harbor of The 33rd Team thinks Walker Little is ready to step in Taylor's place next season.
Harbor, a former NFL tight end who spent time in Jacksonville during his playing years, recently said that the Jaguars' offense is in good shape in spite of their lack of activity in free agency. He argues that there's a method to their madness and adds that thinks Little showed in 2022 that he can get the job done at right tackle.
"They lost Jawaan Taylor, an offensive tackle, right tackle, but the reason this is ok is because you have Walker Little", Harbor said. "He was a second-round pick by the Jaguars. Walker Little showed when Cam Robinson went down that he can play. He played through the playoffs. He played through some huge games near the end of the season for the Jaguars and he did a great job".
"Walker Little can play. He can get the job done, he'll be able to protect Trevor the loss of Jawaan Taylor doesn't hurt Jacksonville as much as some people do. They didn't have enough cap space, so they had to make their priorities", Harbor says.
Harbor goes on to say that the team's brass brought back Evan Engram and also traded for Calvin Ridley, who's ready to play after being reinstated by the league after betting on football games in late 2021. The former Jaguars tight end then adds that Trevor Lawrence will be "one year older, a year better", so there's a good reason to think the offense should be in great shape next season.
Walker Little could be an upgrade on the Jacksonville Jaguars O-Line
Harbor also posted a picture on social media in which he says Walker Little can do everything Taylor can and he's cheaper. All things considered, he's right.
Taylor got a four-year contract worth $80 million from the Kansas City Chiefs. The Jags simply didn't have the cap space to bring him back. Although they made him an offer, they were ready to let him walk, and one reason was the presence of Little.
Even though Little has only made eight career starts (two in the playoffs), he's shown he can play at a high level. The former Stanford Cardinal has gave up just three sacks and 14 total pressures on 273 pass-blocking snaps -- most of them at left tackle in the regular season. It's true that he lost the competition for the right tackle job but he was switching sides while Taylor had played there his whole career.
There's a strong chance Little will be much better if he gets an ample number of reps. Even if the Jags do draft an offensive tackle early in the draft, Little should be the front-runner for the starting job.
As Harbor noted, the Jaguars haven't made any signings in free agency because they don't really have to. If Walker Little and other players live up to expectations, they should be even better than last season.