Trevor Lawrence is without a doubt the best player the Jacksonville Jaguars currently have. Simply he's the engine that makes the offense go but who's their second or third-best player? Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus gave the nod to cornerback Tyson Campbell and outside linebacker Josh Allen, in no particular order.
Spielberger drew up a list of building blocks for each AFC team and picked Lawrence, Campbell, and Allen for the Jags. Lawrence's choice was not surprising given that he's the face of the franchise tag. On the other hand, Spielberger could have gone with running back Travis Etienne or wide receiver Calvin Ridley but instead went with Campbell and Allen. He doesn't offer a concrete reason for including Allen but argues that Campbell has already solidified his place as one of the top cornerbacks in the league.
"The unit is filled with young players at all three levels and they should improve over time, but cornerback Tyson Campbell has already emerged as one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL, with his 81.2 coverage grade and 0.72 yards per coverage snap allowed the fifth-best marks among cornerbacks with at least 300 coverage snaps in 2022. "
Spielberger considered including outside linebacker Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, but believes that he needs to improve in 2023 to get the nod.
A second-round pick in the 2021 draft, Campbell had a rough start to his NFL career but made significant improvement towards the end of his rookie campaign. The former Georgia Bulldog picked up where he left off last year and have an even better season. His 15 passes defensed were the second-best in the team and his 81.2 PFF overall grade was seventh among cornerbacks and the whole league.
Meanwhile, Allen had a productive campaign in 2022. He consistently applied pressure upfront and scooped the fumble that helped the Jaguars get on top of the Tennessee Titans in the finale. Although he only registered seven sacks, he's putting in the work to ensure he becomes the elite pass rusher Jacksonville expects him to be next season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have several building block on the roster in 2023
All things considered, Spielberger's picks are solid. Every list of the most valuable Jaguars players will most definitely include Lawrence but if you needed to pick two (and only two) more, things get interesting.
Nobody would have probably batted an eye if safety Andre Cisco made the cut. The former Syracuse Orangeman has become a key cog on defense and is seen as a potential breakout candidate in 2023. He already showed lots of promise last year, so to think he can be even better should get Jags fans hyped up about Dre.
Calvin Ridley would have been another solid pick. Even though he hasn't played a snap for the Jaguars in the regular season, he's projected to be a diffence-maker on offense. Fellow wide receiver Christian Kirk would have another worthy candidate. The former Texas A&M Aggie had a breakout season in 2022 and is set to be even better due to the arrival in Jacksonville.
Don't forget about running back Travis Etienne, who showed in 2022 that he can be a featured back. Simply, there are several players to choose from and that's a good thing. After struggling to win for most of the 2010s, Jacksonville has built a solid core of playmakers that should help them win lots of games next season.
In previous years, it was hard to find a true difference-maker on the Jaguars roster but things have changed. Now, they're set to make a deep playoff run next season due to their surplus of talent at most position groups.