Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has one of the top 10 supporting casts in the NFL

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is introduced before an NFL first round.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is introduced before an NFL first round. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

Having a franchise quarterback increases an NFL team's chances of winning games but they also need players that can block and reel in passes, which is why the Jacksonville Jaguars have made it a priority to provide Trevor Lawrence the best possible supporting cast they could get him. So far, it seems like the Jags have done a good job, with Bill Barnwell of ESPN giving a rave review to Lawrence's supporting cast.

Barnwell ranked every NFL quarterback's supporting cast and placed Jacksonville at No. 9, noting that signing wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk, and tight end Evan Engram last year was huge.

"Watch the Jaguars go! You can quibble with some of the prices paid in free agency last year, but they certainly got results. Tight end Evan Engram stayed healthy and posted a career high in receiving yards, even if his underlying numbers weren't out of line with what he has done in the past. Christian Kirk took to the top receiver role and averaged a respectable 1.9 yards per route run, which ranked 32nd among NFL wideouts. Zay Jones continued to struggle with drops -- his seven ranked second in the league -- but the former Raider wideout posted much-needed spike weeks in narrow wins over the Ravens and Cowboys. "

Barnwell goes on to say that third-year pro Travis Etienne has the tools to be a top 5 running back in the league and adds that wide receiver Calvin Ridley is the team's X-Factor. The whole article is worth reading but you need a subscription to either ESPN+ or Disney+ (Disney owns ESPN) to access it.

One interesting tidbit that Barnwell shared is that Lawrence's supporting cast ranked 28th and 25th in 2022 and 2021, respectively. This makes the Jaguars' trip to the playoffs and subsequent win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend even more impressive. How did they manage to thrive despite having a bottom-5 collection of talent?

Head coach Doug Pederson is a big reason why. He kept his players focused even when they were riding a losing skid early in the season. On the other hand, maybe Jacksonville's offense wasn't as bad as Barnwell's ranking suggested. Then again, it's refreshing to see the Jaguars getting recognition ahead of the 2023 season.

The Miami Dolphins (8th), the Dallas Cowboys (7th), the Minnesota Vikings (6th), the Los Angeles Chargers (5th), the Seattle Seahawks (4th), the Cincinnati Bengals (3rd), the Philadelphia Eagles (2nd) and the San Francisco 49ers (1st) were the clubs Barnwell ranked above Jacksonville.

The Jaguars want to put Trevor Lawrence in a position to win games in 2023

Even though Trevor Lawrence was dubbed as a generational talent coming out of college, he couldn't overcome the lack of support he got from the Jaguars in his rookie campaign. Not only did Urban Meyer hinder his development but his supporting cast was less than optimal. Marvin Jones Jr. became the No. 1 option in the passing game when DJ Chark Jr. suffered a foot fracture in Week 4. Tight end Dan Arnold, who was acquired after the loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4 missed the last seven games of the 2021 with an MCL injury, pushing wide receiver Laquon Treadwell into a featured role.

Realizing they needed to help Lawrence, they spared no expenses when making upgrades to his supporting cast last year. Besides signing Kirk, Jones, and Engram, they also inked former Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff. The team's brass keep bolstering the offense when they traded for Calvin Ridley last year and drafted Anton Harrison to replace Jawaan Taylor this past April.

Trevor Lawrence has been working on becoming even better in Year 3. And with the supporting cast the Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten him, it's easy to picture him becoming a top 5 quarterback in 2023.

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