The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Anton Harrison 27th overall this year to replace Jawan Taylor, who left in free agency, at right tackle. While he had a pair of rough outings to start the 2023 season, Harrison has played much better the past two games.
Harrison gave up one sack and a hurry in the opener. On top of that, he had a subpar Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade of 42.1. Things didn't get better for the rookie right tackle in Week 2. Having to often go against Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones, Harrison had a game to forget, posting a 29.6 PFF pass-blocking grade. Then again, he fared well enough to earn Jones' praise and has gotten much better since then.
The last two games, Harrison has given just one total pressure and no sacks. To top it off, he's performed much better in the running game. In particular, he posted a PFF run grade of 88.0 against the Houston Texans in Week 3.
Anton Harrison is proving the Jaguars were right to let Jawaan Taylor walk
Jawaan Taylor made 66 consecutive starts for the Jaguars from 2019-2022. While he struggled early in his career, he put it all together last season. The team's brass knew they weren't going to be able to retain him. In the end, the former Florida Gator signed a four-year contract worth $80 million with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Needing to replace Taylor, Jacksonville picked Harrison in the draft. So far, the decision is paying off. Taylor has once again been plagued with penalties and has already been benched a couple times. Meanwhile, Harrison is getting better by the week.
Now, there's a realistic chance that Harrison will have a poor outing (or a few) for the remainder of the season. After all, he's still getting acclimated to both the NFL and his new position. That's right, it's easy to forget but he was a left tackle in college and may need a full season to get used to lining up on the right side.
That said, Harrison will also keep having good games and as long as the bad ones are fewer, he should be alright. The coaching staff knows it. Following the loss to the Chiefs, head coach Doug Pederson said that his struggles against Chris Jones are something that he can learn from.
In Week 5, the Jaguars will face a stout Buffalo Bills defensive front. It will be of utter importance for Anton Harrison to build on last week's success and do their part to ensure Trevor Lawerence has enough time to throw.