Jaguars RT Anton Harrison named under-the-radar player who could shape 2023 season

The Jacksonville Jaguars expect Anton Harrison to solidify the right tackle position and he could have a huge role in how their 2023 season turns out.
Offensive lineman Anton Harrison stretches during the 2023 Jaguars Rookie Minicamp held at TIAA Bank Field.
Offensive lineman Anton Harrison stretches during the 2023 Jaguars Rookie Minicamp held at TIAA Bank Field. / Juston Lewis/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars have set huge expectations for rookie Anton Harrison. Selected 27th overall in this year's draft, Harrison is slated to replace Jawaan Taylor, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, at right tackle, and Zachary Pereles of CBS Sports believes his success could have an impact on how the Jags' 2023 season plays out.

Pereles recently drew up a list of 50 under-the-radar players that could shape the 2023 season and included Harrison, pointing out that he's expected to start at right tackle from Day 1.

"Jacksonville traded back multiple times before nabbing Harrison, who is expected to start immediately at right tackle after Cam Robinson's four-game suspension. Harrison is also potentially a Walker Little injury away from sliding over to left tackle, where he played at Oklahoma. "

The Jags originally held the 24th pick in the draft but traded back — first with the New York Giants and later with the Buffalo Bills — to get Harrison at No. 27. As Pereles noted, the former Oklahoma Sooner mostly lined up at left tackle at college but not long after he landed in Jacksonville, the team's brass said he would be making the switch to right tackle.

So far, Harrison's transition is going well. Offensive line coach Phil Rauscher said during offseason workouts that Harrison has done everything the Jaguars expected and also praised his athleticism, "he's taken moving to the right very naturally and we're excited about that".

If things go according to plan, Harrison will be lining up at right tackle against the Indianapolis Colts in the opener, but is there a chance he could switch back to left tackle? That could certainly be an option if Walker Little goes down during Cam Robinson's suspension. An alternative to that idea is veteran Josh Wells, who joined the Jaguars earlier this year and has the ability to play two tackle spots.

The Jaguars are counting on Anton Harrison to have a huge impact

The Jaguars knew they were going to be hard to retain Jawaan Taylor in free agency. Despite the fact that they made a proposal to him, they were working with a limited budget and weren't going to be able to match the offers he got in the open market, including the four-year deal $40 million deal he got from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Had Cam Robinson not gotten suspended, Jacksonville might have plugged Little in at right tackle but it's hard to tell from an outside perspective how much the suspension factored in the decision to draft Harrison.

Either way, Robinson is sitting out the first four games of the season, and with Little taking his place at left tackle, the Jags are counting on Harrison to protect the right edge. Just like any other rookie, he will most likely go through an adjustment period and experience highs and lows. However, the Jaguars' brass believes he's up to the task. Otherwise, they wouldn't have drafted him and projected him to move to the right side.

Working in Harrison's favor is that there are other players on the Jaguars' roster that are garnering more attention ahead of the 2023 season (Trevor Lawrence, and Calvin Ridley among others). This has helped Harrison fly a bit under the radar and not have to deal with the pressure of being a first-round selection.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are undergoing a transition period in 2023 but if Anton Harrison can solidify the right tackle spot, the unit will go from a question mark to a strength.

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