This Jaguars player is the biggest winner from the new NFL kickoff rule

• The Jaguars will have an edge when kicking thanks to this player.

Oct 15, 2023; London, United Kingdom;  Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Devin Duvernay (13) carries
Oct 15, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Devin Duvernay (13) carries / Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL approved new rules in the latest owner meeting. One of them, banning the hip-drop tackle, hasn't been overly popular among fans and players, but there's another one that will immensely benefit the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the presence of Devin Duvernay.

The league made a couple of changes to kickoffs. Teams now have to announce if they want to try an onside kick. They'll also be implementing a new model for returns.

Players on the kicking team must be lined up at the opponent's 40-yard line. A minimum of nine players on the receiver team will line up between the 30 and 35-yard line, and at least seven of them will have to have a foot on the 35-yard line. Kickoff will remain at the 35-yard line, and the play begins if the returner gets the ball or it hits the ground.

Any kicks that fall short of the landing zone (20-yard line to the end zone) will be treated as if they were out of bounds and will be spotted at the return team's 40-yard line. Also, fair catches have been eliminated. Here's a video NFL Football Operations posted on social media to explain the changes to the new kickoff rule.

It's worth noting that this is a one-year trial, and the league will decide whether it will adopt it full-time in 2025. Here's how the play could look.

Devin Duvernay gives the Jaguars an edge with changes to kickoff rule

Jamal Agnew gave the Jaguars' return game a spark the past three years, so his departure in free agency created a void. However, the front office quickly got to work and signed Devin Duvernay to replace him. All things considered, their special teams got a massive boost.

Duvernay, a third-round pick in 2020, averaged 24.8 yards per kickoff return and 12.8 per punt during his four-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens. On top of that, he earned a First-Team All-Pro designation in 2021 and a Pro Bowl nod the following year. The former Texas Longhorn said that he was looking for the best opportunity when he became a free agent and Jacksonville definitely gave him a good shot.

While Agnew played a key role in the return game, a series of injuries hindered his performance and forced him to miss time. Duvernay suffered a back injury late in 2023 but has otherwise been healthy. Moreover, he's a better receiver than Agnew, so he could have a prominent role on offense despite the arrival of Gabe Davis.

Add the new kickoff rule and Duvernay will be in a position to make an impact in his first season in Jacksonville. Head coach Doug Pederson, for one, knew changes could be coming, noting that just around 20/21 percent of all kickoffs were returned last year. The new rule makes the Duvernay signing look better in retrospect.

The Jacksonville Jaguars revamped the offense and defense in free agency without forgetting about the special teams. In Devin Durvernay, they have a player who will give them a great field position and may a few points if he reaches the end zone.

Here are more stories from Black & Teal: