As the 2023 NFL regular season approaches, most Jacksonville Jaguars fans find themselves giddy with anticipation and with good reasons. The team turned the corner and finished strong in 2022, and generally positive reports from training camp were punctuated with a good performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the 2023 preseason.
Trevor Lawrence appears to have picked up where he left off. Calvin Ridley looks to be everything fans hoped for and more. Devin Lloyd looks like a real linebacker. Some of the developmental players from last year are progressing. Expectations for the players and team this season are high.
Except for one player, it would seem.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need more from Travon Walker going forward
Many fans are not expecting elite play from Travon Walker
In spite of being arguably the most freakish athlete on the team and having been given a redshirt season to develop, fans still have muted expectations for 2022 number one overall draft pick, Travon Walker. Just take a look at the results from this poll conducted by 1010xl's Mike Dempsey:
While nearly everyone who observes the Jaguars recognizes an improved pass rush as the number one need facing the team in 2023, most fans don't seem to expect that improvement to come from the one player in the best position to provide it. That's concerning.
Perhaps Jaguars fans have gotten used to mediocre production from high draft picks. Perhaps they simply observed Walker's often predictable, uninspiring pass rush last season and are trying to be realistic.
But, an eight-or-so sack count for the No. 1 overall pick in his second season is not enough. That 36.2 percent should be next to "nine or more." Half the respondents think he's going to have fewer than seven sacks. There should be that many expecting double-digits.
Some fans do have optimism. Take this poll from longtime Jacksonville media member Dan Hicken:
But, take a closer look. While 40 percent of fans responding are expecting a "big year" (however that's defined) from Walker, an unsettling 36 percent of fans think it "will be good not great." There are too many fans expecting "just ok" or worse from Travon Walker this year.