Jaguars get relatively low grade for fairly quiet offseason before the 2023 NFL Draft
After going 9-7 and making the playoffs last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered the offseason without as many roster holes as they've had in previous years, which is why they mostly focused on bringing back their own players and adding depth at key spots.
Even though the Jags are in relatively good shape ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, it's fair to say that Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report wasn't particularly impressed with their lack of impact signings in free agency, which is reflected in the grade he assigned them.
Knox recently graded every team's offseason moves and gave the Jaguars a C+, noting the grade would have been lower had he not included Calvin Ridley, whom Jacskonville traded for last year.
"While the Jags did add running back D'Ernest Johnson and offensive tackle Josh Wells, most of their free-agent focus was on maintaining a roster that reached the divisional round in 2022. Considering the team came into the offseason $20.3 million over the cap, this was an unsurprising game plan. "
Knox goes on to say that despite the Jaguars' lack of impact signings in free agency, they should be able to keep up with the AFC heavyweight, especially if Trevor Lawrence and Ridley can quickly get on the same wavelength.
The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the offseason with a plan
The Jaguars were a bit over $20 million over the cap before free agency and needed to rework several contracts to create space. This made it difficult for the front office to make any huge investments for the season year in a row. However, that doesn't mean they've had an uneventful offseason. Far from it.
Despite the fact that the team's brass couldn't retain right tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Arden Key, two important contributors from last year's team, they were able to bring back Roy Robertson-Harris, safety Andrew Wingard, running back JaMycal Hasty, and tight end Evan Engram, albeit on the franchise tag.
Furthermore, Calvin Ridley is ready to join the Jags' wide receiver corps after being reinstated from a suspension he served for betting on NFL games in 2021. He should turn an already talented wide receiver corps into one of the best in the league.
Of course, it would have been great to see the Jaguars go after a player like defensive tackle Javon Hargrave or cornerback Jamel Dean. However, general manager Trent Baalke spent the last two seasons putting together a well-rounded roster, so Jacksonville could afford to sit back and let other teams do the spending in free agency.
It's also worth noting that most of the signings the Jaguars made in free agency were meaningful. They added Michael Dogby and Henry Mondeaux to their defensive front and both of them are low-risk additions that could become important pieces of the defensive line rotation. Similarly, Josh Wells will most likely become the team's designated swing tackle with Walker Little potentially starting at right tackle in 2023. Last but not least is running back D'Ernest Johnson, who has the potential to form a dynamic backfield tandem with Travis Etienne.
The bottom line is that the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't make any blockbusters this signings this offseason and if they can find come out of the draft with a few instant contributors, they'll have a strong chance to make a deep playoff run in 2023.