Jaguars RG Brandon Scherff has room for improvement in 2023 but he's not overrated

Jan 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff (68).
Jan 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff (68). / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars made several huge additions to their roster last offseason. One of them was Brandon Scherff, who brought stability at the right guard position. Although the veteran offensive lineman struggled at times last year, calling him overrated seems like a reach but that's precisely what Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report did.

Davenport put together an overrated team composed of players "whose production doesn't meet the perception or the paycheck". When discussing Scherf's inclusion on the list, he quoted Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, who called him "a stabilizing force and a veteran presence up front". However, Davenport disagrees with that assessment of Scherff.

"The stabilizing force? Not so much. He allowed six sacks in 2022, which is a big number for a guard. It was more sacks than he surrendered over a four-year stretch from 2018-2021.
Now, it might be that this was an anomaly. An adjustment year. But it's equally possible that, at 31, Scherff's best football is behind him and his reputation as one of the NFL's best guards no longer matches the reality of what he is as a player."

Davenport does make some valid points. Scherff had not allowed more than three sacks in a season before 2022. Similarly, his Pro Football Focus overall grade was the lowest of his career. Moreover, the former Iowa Hawkeye struggled in games against the New York Jets, the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans.

Even the best players are going to have down games every now and then but that's too many for Scherff to be called a top guard right now. Then again, nobody is calling him that right. While it's true that the Jaguars' brass paid a premium to secure his services last year, a player is worth what a team is willing to pay him and he didn't hold general manager Trent Baalke when he signed his three-year, $49.5 million last offseason.

Jaguars RG Brandon Scherff has some positives to build on in 2023

Make no mistake, the Jaguars need more from Scherff, especially when you take into account that they paid him like the player that earned five Pro Bowl selections and a First-Team All-Pro designation during his seven-year stint with the Washington Commanders.

The good news is that there are reasons to believe Scherff can rebound in 2023. He logged a career-high 1,086 last year. On top of that, he played two playoff games and dealt with an abdomen injury throughout the season. It's fair to assume that he would have probably fared much better if he had stayed healthy.

It's also worth noting that last year was the first time Scherff played a full season since 2016, having missed a total of 24 games from 2017 to 2021. If he can avoid injuries, he should be even better in his second year in offensive line coach Phil Rauscher's system.

Scherff may have shown signs of decline last year but there's an equal chance he had a down season. If that's the case, the Jaguars' offensive line should be in even better shape in 2023. If it isn't, Jacksonville should then consider cutting ties with him in 2024 but if they didn't feel good about him, they wouldn't have probably restructured his contract this past February and spread the cap hit into future years. Simply, you don't rework the deals of players you think will be around for the foreseeable future.

The bottom line is that Scherff needs to play better next season but there's a difference between him having room for improvement and calling him overrated. The Jaguars know it. Otherwise, they wouldn't consider him part of their long-term future.

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