Gone are the days when the Jacksonville Jaguars were in the cellar of the NFL and one of the reasons they were able to climb out of it was that they've been hoarding playmakers over the last three years. Trevor Lawrence aside, there are several Jags players that will have a huge impact in 2023 and beyond. One of them is cornerback Tyson Campbell, who was labeled their non-quarterback MVP on a recent list at Touchdown Wire.
Barbieri compiled a list of non-QB MVPs for each NFL team and fellow USA TODAY Sports writer Adam Stites picked Campbell for the Jaguars, noting that the former Georgia Bulldog quickly went from a raw talent to a quality starter.
"The 23-year-old cornerback is already among the best in the league at his position and easily the most valuable piece on the young Jacksonville defense. Finding a consistent pass rush and another reliable cornerback hasn't been easy, but the Jaguars have a foundational piece in place in Campbell. "
A second-round pick in the 2021 draft, Campbell has indeed become a valuable piece on the Jaguars' defensive puzzle. What makes this even more impressive is that he struggled early as a rookie. In particular, he wouldn't turn his head around when defending a pass but he's been able to fix that. Similarly, he lined up in the slot early in the 2021 season but fared much better once he moved to the boundaries.
Last year, Campbell registered three interceptions and posted an 82.1 Pro Football Focus overall grade, the seventh-best mark among cornerbacks. Not surprisingly, he appeared in Seth Walder's top 100 list and got an honorable mention in Pete Prisco's. On top of that, he made the cut in Bleacher Report's All-Underrated Team.
Jaguars CB Tyson Campbell is deservedly getting recognition ahead of the 2023 season
Just recently Ed Edholm of NFL Media picked outside linebacker Josh Allen as the Jaguars' non-quarterback 2023 MVP and the truth is that either he or Campbell are worthy picks. The same is true for third-year safety Andre Cisco, who's seen as a potential breakout candidate next season. Simply, Jacksonville has stockpiled talent on defense over the last three years, so it's hard to pick just one player.
Overall, it's good to see Campbell, Allen, and Cisco get recognition from the national media. Back in the 2010s, not many Jaguars got the spotlight but Campbell and other players are bucking the trend. The fact that the Jags are one of the hottest teams in the league right now has certainly helped. Then again, Jacksonville is winning because now they've got talented players. If you think about it, it's kind of a catch-22 situation.
The bottom line is that Jacksonville Jaguars are no longer the laughingstock of the league. And after a decade-long drought — the 2017 season notwithstanding — they're position to be one of the best things in the league next season, and having players such as Campbell is a reason why.