The Jacksonville Jaguars stumbled to an awful 1-15 record in 2020 and decided to do a complete overhaul. The Jags are giving legendary college coach Urban Meyer his first shot in the NFL. It may take Meyer quite a while to right the ship in Jacksonville, but he creates a much-needed buzz for the franchise.
The Jaguars fanbase is especially excited to see former Clemson teammates Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Can this dynamic duo of rookies bring new life to a struggling offense? Will the defense improve after one of the worst seasons in franchise history?
Meyer and the Jags front office wasted no time in making QB Trevor Lawrence the first overall pick in the 2021 draft. Lawrence had a stellar college career and ended up with 90 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing touchdowns. The 6-6 213 pound 21-year old has the poise and maturity necessary to be a star NFL QB. However, it’ll take a little time for Lawrence to get used to the speed of the pro level.
The Jags running game should be solid with Travis Etienne entrenched as the starter. Etienne, like Lawrence, had a phenomenal college career for the Clemson Tigers. The 5-11 215 pounder has excellent speed and runs with a low center of gravity. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield.
Jacksonville’s wide receiving corps has some talent but they are largely unproven. Marvin Jones (978 yards and 9 touchdowns LY) comes over from Detroit and he is a nice addition. Laviska Shenault had a decent rookie season in 2020 by catching five touchdowns and the Jags expect him to improve this season.
The Jags defense was an absolute train wreck last season, and that’s putting it nicely! Jacksonville’s defensive unit ranked dead last in the NFL in yards per play allowed (6.3). They allowed 30.8 points and 417.7 yards per game, both of which ranked 31st in the league.
Meyer did spend four draft picks on defensive players, so that’s encouraging. He also brought in Shaquill Griffin from Seattle to help out the secondary. Myles Jack (119 tackles, 1 interception LY) will continue to anchor the defense from his middle linebacker position.
Another big concern is the lack of a consistent pass rush. The Jags ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks in 2020. Former first-round picks Josh Allen and Taven Bryan had to be better on the defensive line (gamblingsites.com).
2021 Special Teams
Chris Claybrooks will handle the bulk of the punt and kick return duties for the Jaguars in 2021. The speedy cornerback from Memphis had 289 kick return yards during his rookie campaign last year.
Logan Cooke returns for his fourth season as Jacksonville’s punter. The former Mississippi State Bulldog averaged 47.7 yards per punt in 2020.
The starting kicker spot has yet to be filled. Josh Lambo (Made all 5 FG attempts LY) and Aldrick Rosas (Made 8 of 11 FG attempts LY) will battle it out during the preseason.