The Jacksonville Jaguars have started to get more attention from the national media in recent months. Qualifying for the playoffs and stunning the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend surely played a role and so does the presence of Trevor Lawrence, an ascending star in the league. But Pete Prisco knows Lawrence isn't the only talented player on the Jags' roster, which is why he made sure to include some of his teammates on his list of the top 100 players in the NFL right now.
Besides including Lawrence at No. 23, Prisco placed wide receiver Christian Kirk at No. 87. Regarding Lawrence, Prisco thinks he should be in the MVP talk in 2023. On the other hand, he highlights how effective Kirk is in the middle of the field.
After an underwhelming rookie season, Lawrence has consistently shown up in the top 10 of most quarterback ratings. In his first year with head coach Doug Pederson, he throw for over 4,000 yards with 25 passing touchdowns last year. With a better grasp of the system, it's fair to think he will be much better in Year 3.
When it comes to Kirk, it's not really surprising to see him get love after breaking out in 2022. General manager Trent Baalke got lots of scorn for giving the former Texas A&M Auggie a top-market contract last year despite the fact that he had never had a 1,000-yard season and hadn't been a No. 1 receiver full-time for the Arizona Cardinals. However, Baalke's decision is no longer questioned after Kirk hauled in 84 catches for 1,108 yards with eight touchdowns last year.
The other three Jaguars players that earned honorable mentions were cornerback Tyson Campbell, running back Travis Etienne, and wide receiver Calvin Ridley. All of them can realistically crack Prisco's top 100 next year if they show out in 2023.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting a bigger profile ahead of the 2023 season
It's a bit puzzling to see players such as quarterback Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) or cornerback Jaire Alexander (Green Bay Packers) rank higher than Trevor Lawrence but that's the nature of such an imperfect exercise as listing the top 100 players in the NFL. You could ask 50 different people to come up with their top 100 and you would most likely get 100 different lists.
What's important is that the Jags are slowly starting to gain more notoriety after being ignored for most of the 2010s. Even after reaching the AFC Championship in 2017, they didn't get much recognition. Part of that is that they came crashing down and won just five games the following year. These Jags are different though, with Doug Pederson leading the way and Lawrence at quarterback, they're built to last.
Another sign that Jacksonville is no longer flying under the radar is that they got three primetimes in 2023. The most they've had in a long time. Moreover, they were limited to Thursday Night Football in recent years but they're scheduled to play on Monday and Sunday next season.
The bottom line is that it's refreshing to see the Jacksonville Jaguars get the spotlight after residing in the cellar of the league in recent years. If they can build on last year's success, the attention will only increase.