2022 Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

The 2022 NFL Season is nearly upon us. As part of the run up to the season, we’re preview all the teams, culminating with our picks for who makes the playoffs and who wins the awards this season. Check back each day through September 5. Let’s get ready for some football!

It would be hard to find a bigger disaster in the 2021 NFL Season than the Jacksonville Jaguars. The season began with promise as the Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence at quarterback and hired Urban Meyer as head coach. But the wheels flew off the bus, quickly. Lawrence struggled mightily, the team suffered many injuries and the scandals that plagued Meyer led to him being fired mid-season. The Jaguars ended up with the worst record in the NFL and the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for the second year in a row. Can they change their fate in 2022?

Off-Season Changes

The Jaguars moved swiftly to hire Doug Pederson at Head Coach. Pederson has plenty of experience and even won the Super Bowl with Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. The hope is he can bring stability to the franchise and help Lawrence realize some of his potential. The Jaguars followed that up by rebuilding their offense to add weapons around Lawrence.

While veteran receiver D.J. Chark headed to Detroit, the team added new weapons in Christian Kirk, who signed a massive deal, and former Bill and Raider Zay Jones. Kirk is expected to be the No. 1 option for the Jaguars, coming from Arizona where he caught 236 passes for 2,902 yards and 17 touchdowns in four seasons in the dessert. The team also signed veteran tight end Evan Engram. Engram was a First-Round pick by the Giants that struggled through injury and inconsistency. He caught 262 passes for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns in five seasons. He figures to play a big role in the passing game.

The Jaguars also worked to strengthen the team’s core, bolstering the defense by grabbing Travon Walker with the No. 1 overall pick and then taking linebacker Devin Lloyd in the Second Round. The Jaguars drafted center Luke Fortner with their third pick and signed guard Brandon Scherff to bolster the offensive line.

Fantasy Prospects

What can we expect from Lawrence? The No. 1 overall pick in 2021 finished as QB22 in a rocky rookie season. He has weapons and possibly better coaching now, but I still see him as a low-end QB2 for now. There are also questions in the backfield. Travis Etienne was drafted high last year but injured before the season began. He hasn’t played an NFL snap but rushed for 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns in four seasons and Clemson. Fellow running back James Robinson shined as a rookie but tore his Achilles last season. Both backs are coming off injury and remain questions. I think Etienne is likely an RB3, so his RB20 ADP is not working for me. I need to see Robinson play and see what role he has before feeling good about his return.

In the passing game, the Jaguars have Kirk, Zay Jones, Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault all vying for targets. I like Kirk the best, and I think he can slide into the WR3 range. He’s currently going as WR42, so I think there’s value there. I’m not sold on any of the other Jaguars’ receivers as solid starts. Engram is somewhat intriguing at tight end. The talent is there, but he has never put it all together. He also has competition from Dan Arnold. I like Engram as a TE2. His ADP as TE20 feels about right.

Prediction

The Jaguars are still rebuilding and arguably the 2021 campaign was a setback. I suspect the team will still be well out of the playoff race, but likely won’t have the No. 1 overall pick for a third straight season. I see them winning five to six games and taking a modest step forward.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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