The Jacksonville Jaguars have surrounded Trevor Lawrence with the best possible supporting cast they could assemble. Heading into the 2023 season, Lawrence, along with wide receiver Calvin Ridley and running back Travis Etienne are among the top triplets in the whole league.
NFL Keegan Abdoo of NFL Media identified the 32 triplets in the NFL — a tradition that began in 2014 — and placed the Jags at No. 6, noting that Lawrence has lived up to his draft billing. Abdoo believes the addition of Ridley will take Jacksonville to new heights.
"Lawrence looked like the generational prospect he was labeled as in the pre-draft process. Under the competency of Doug Pederson, Lawrence ranked fifth in total passing EPA (+63.5) and success rate (48.9 percent) in 2022, a drastic improvement over his disastrous rookie season, when only Zach Wilson had fewer EPA on dropbacks. After the addition of Ridley, this passing attack is expected to reach new heights with Lawrence taking another step forward and having an alpha receiver to lean on. "
On the other hand, Abdoo thinks Etienne is one of the most explosive runners in the league but his shortcomings as a blocker prevented him from "taking over as an every-down back so far".
The five teams that got a higher spot in the ranking than the Jaguars are the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
All things considered, Jacksonville got a fair spot when you take into account they were 26th last year. At the time, there were questions about Christian Kirk being a legitimate No. 1 receiver and whether Lawrence was going to be able to put his underwhelming rookie season behind. On top of that, Etienne had missed the 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury, so expectations surrounding the Jaguars offense were rightfully tempered.
One year later, it's fair to say Jacksonville met said expectations and then some. They ranked 10th in both points scored and total yards in head coach Doug Pederson's first season at the helm. Entering Year 2 in the same system, Lawrence should have no trouble solidifying his stop as a top-5 quarterback in 2023. The arrival of Ridley will most certainly help.
Similarly, Etienne proved that he can carry a big workload, totaling 1,441 yards from scrimmage in his sophomore campaign which was truly his first when you take into account that he didn't play his rookie year.
Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Calvin Ridley give the Jaguars a fighting chance
The Jaguars went from worst to first in the AFC South last year. On top of that, they proved they could keep up with teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers when they beat them in the divisional round of the playoffs. Now, they must prove they're not a one-year wonder.
Working in the Jags' favor is that Trevor Lawrence has consistently played at a high level since High School. His underwhelming 2021 season was the byproduct of Urban Meyer's incompetence and an outlier in what's been an otherwise successful football career. Having improved in his first season under Pederson's tutelage, Steezy Trev is poised to reach new heights in Year 3.
On the other hand, Calvin Ridley is determined to prove he's still the same game-changer he was early in his NFL career. And after an extended absence, he's ready to reclaim his place as one of the top wideouts in the league. Based on the work he's put in since he joined the team in March, he should be able to do that. There's also Travis Etienne, who will still be an important part of the offense despite the fact that rookie running back Tank Bigsby will probably have a big role.
Simply put, the Jaguars triplets rival those of other clubs. Having made a huge leap from No. 26, they'll have the chance to keep moving up in 2023.