This article is part of our Team Previews series.
Urban Meyer's tenure in Jacksonville was short and tumultuous, as the team once again finished with the worst record in the NFL. New head coach Doug Pederson provides championship and offensive pedigree, but it remains to be seen if this shakeup will be the one that finally turns the franchise around.
2022 Offseason Moves – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Christian Kirk – WR (from Cardinals)
Inked a lucrative deal to serve as the team's No.1 wideout.
- Evan Engram – TE (from Giants)
Will start at tight end after five up-and-down years in New York.
- Zay Jones – WR (from Raiders)
Part of the Jaguars' offseason spending spree on pass catchers.
- Brandon Scherff – G (from Commanders)
Signed a three-year, $49.5 million deal to bolster the offensive line.
- Darious Williams – CB (from Rams)
Had 23 passes defensed and four picks as a two-year starter in L.A.
- Snoop Conner – RB (Rd. 5, No. 154 – Ole Miss)
A short-yardage back who could see chances due to backfield injuries.
- Luke Fortner – C (Rd. 3, No. 65 – Kentucky)
Could start immediately after the retirement of Brandon Linder
- DJ Chark – WR (to Lions)
Broke his ankle Week 4 and missed the rest of the 2021 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Doug Pederson (Year 1)
Offensive Coordinator: Press Taylor (Year 1) – West Coast offense
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Caldwell (Year 1) – 3-4 scheme
Stats to Know for the Jacksonville Jaguars
2022 Vegas Projected Wins: 6.5 (T-25th)
2021 Record: 3-14
2021 Points Scored: 253 (32nd)
2021 Points Allowed: 457 (28th)
2021 Point Differential: -204 (32nd)
2021 Run-Play Rate: 38.1 percent (26th)
2021 Offensive Snaps: 1,028 (29th)
2021 PFF O-Line Ranking: No. 24
2022 Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
2022 Jacksonville Jaguars Schedule
|1||Sep 11||@ Washington Commanders||1:00 PM|
|2||Sep 18||Indianapolis Colts||1:00 PM|
|3||Sep 25||@ Los Angeles Chargers||4:05 PM|
|4||Oct 2||@ Philadelphia Eagles||1:00 PM|
|5||Oct 9||Houston Texans||1:00 PM|
|6||Oct 16||@ Indianapolis Colts||1:00 PM|
|7||Oct 23||New York Giants||1:00 PM|
|8||Oct 30||Denver Broncos||9:30 AM|
|9||Nov 6||Las Vegas Raiders||1:00 PM|
|10||Nov 13||@ Kansas City Chiefs||1:00 PM|
|12||Nov 27||Baltimore Ravens||1:00 PM|
|13||Dec 4||@ Detroit Lions||1:00 PM|
|14||Dec 11||@ Tennessee Titans||1:00 PM|
|15||Dec 18||Dallas Cowboys||1:00 PM|
|16||Dec 22||@ New York Jets||8:15 PM|
|17||Jan 1||@ Houston Texans||1:00 PM|
Jacksonville Jaguars Storylines for 2022
Running Back Recovery
Jacksonville appeared set at running back entering 2021 with James Robinson fresh off a respectable rookie campaign and Travis Etienne coming in as a first-round pick, but both players ended up suffering severe injuries. Etienne went down with a Lisfranc injury during the preseason and missed the entire campaign, while Robinson suffered a torn Achilles in Week 16.
When healthy last year, Robinson actually averaged more yards per touch compared to 2020 (5.1 versus 4.9), but he received 94 fewer touches despite playing in 14 games both seasons. His usage under coach Urban Meyer often was confusing, so the change to coach Doug Pederson is a welcome one, for that and many other reasons. However, it's unclear when Robinson will be able to retake the field, and an absence of some kind to begin this season wouldn't be surprising as he goes through his rehab program.
Etienne relayed to the media in the spring that he felt 85 to 90 percent recovered, which gives him a strong chance of being healthy for training camp. Jacksonville's only addition to the backfield this offseason was rookie fifth-round pick Snoop Conner, who primarily worked as a short-yardage back at Ole Miss. Given the timeline for their recoveries, Etienne should begin 2022 as Jacksonville's No. 1 RB until Robinson is at full strength.
Another Offseason Reset
The Jaguars convinced Urban Meyer to come out of retirement in January 2021 to step in as the team's new head coach, and it was a move that backfired massively both on and off the field. He had 17 years of experience as a head coach in college but failed in every respect at the NFL level. Meyer, whose tenure with Jacksonville was filled with controversy, went 2-11 before being fired in mid-December, resulting in what essentially was a wasted rebuilding year.
Following a season in which the positives were few and far between, Doug Pederson – who sat out the 2021 campaign after being fired by the Eagles – will take over the reins. His previous coaching experience and success signal an obvious step in the right direction, while his time as an NFL quarterback also should be beneficial for Trevor Lawrence after a bumpy rookie campaign. Even before Meyer, the Jaguars often were a team of dysfunction under previous coach Doug Marrone, so the steady hand provided by Pederson should be a boon for the locker room.
Trent Baalke technically has been the GM for only one full season after initially being hired as the director of player personnel in February 2020, but the Jaguars have a 4-29 record since he joined the team, so the success – or failure – of his moves this offseason could affect his immediate outlook significantly.
Targets for Trevor
Trevor Lawrence struggled throughout his rookie campaign, but the team's overall context certainly did him no favors. Injuries also decimated the skill positions, as wideout DJ Chark was limited to four games due to a fractured ankle, while the backfield lost Travis Etienne in August and then James Robinson in late December.
This offseason, Jacksonville upgraded its pass-catching personnel via free agency, reaching deals worth a combined $105 million with WRs Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and TE Evan Engram. Kirk's four-year, $72 million pact seems like a clear overpay at first glance, but he still significantly boosts the team's receiving corps. Engram provides an athletic option at tight end, which is a position that's been featured sparingly in the Jaguars' passing game in recent years.
Marvin Jones returns after struggling as the No. 1 receiver following Chark's injury last year but should be a solid second option. Laviska Shenault has failed to live up to his draft status as a 2020 second-round pick through his first two seasons, but the potential is there, and having better receivers around him could create more opportunities underneath.
Lawrence will need to improve his accuracy and cut down on turnovers in Year 2, but the pieces should be there for him to take a significant step forward in 2022.
Fantasy Football Stock Watch
⬆️ Rising: TE Evan Engram
After catching 46 passes for 408 yards and three TDs in the Giants' injury-plagued offense last year, Engram joined the Jags on a one-year deal. He'll be the team's No. 1 receiving tight end by a wide margin.
⬇️ Falling: WR Laviska Shenault
Shenault was a sleeper candidate in 2021 but failed to provide consistent production and didn't find the end zone in 16 games. He may enter camp as the No. 4 wideout following the signings of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones.
😴 Sleeper: WR Zay Jones
The 27-year-old had a resurgent 2021 campaign with 47 catches for 546 yards, resulting in a three-year, $24 million contract with the Jaguars. Given those terms, Jones figures to open with a key role in the team's offense.
🌟 Pivotal Player: Trevor Lawrence
The Jaguars were a mess from top to bottom over the course of Lawrence's rookie campaign, during which the QB recorded 22 turnovers compared to 14 total TDs. A revamped receiving corps and offensive line should provide a better floor for last year's No. 1 overall pick, and new coach Doug Pederson will bring some much-needed stability.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injury Report
Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury during the preseason last year that required surgery, bringing an end to his rookie campaign before it even began. The 23-year-old, who was drafted 25th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, is poised to open training camp as Jacksonville's lead running back because James Robinson isn't expected to be fully cleared in his recovery from a torn Achilles by then. Etienne reportedly has recovered well from his foot injury and was able to participate fully in OTAs in May, and under a new head coach in Doug Pederson, his ability to handle spring workouts could prove significant.
Robinson appeared set to work in a timeshare last season after the Jaguars selected Etienne in the first round of the draft. Alas, Etienne went down with an injury during the preseason and never took the field. A 2020 UDFA, Robinson was unable to replicate the 1,414 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns he totaled as a rookie, but he still posted 989 total yards and eight scores last year before tearing his Achilles. The injury puts Robinson in a bit of a hole with the new coaching staff due to his inability to participate in offseason activities. Plus, he's not expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
TE Dan Arnold
Arnold played in three games for Carolina last season before being shipped to Jacksonville, where the journeyman tight end had decent production with 28 catches for 324 yards in eight contests. However, he didn't have any touchdowns and missed the final six games of the year with an MCL sprain. The 27-year-old should enter 2022 healthy, but the Jaguars' offseason signing of Evan Engram alters Arnold's outlook, as the latter likely will enter camp in the No. 2 role.
Training Camp Battle 2022 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Evan Engram signed with the Jaguars on a one-year, $9 million deal in March and though he should enter training camp as the team's starting tight end, it's worth noting his inconsistency with the Giants over the past five years.
He finished with only a 46-408-3 receiving line across 15 games in 2021, production which didn't significantly eclipse that of returnee Dan Arnold (28-324-0), despite playing in seven more contests. Engram had 722 receiving yards and six scores as a rookie in 2017, but he's been unable to eclipse those numbers in the meantime, and he'll now be working with another young and unproven quarterback in Trevor Lawrence.
Engram's athleticism means that he's difficult for defenses to cover, but his issues with drops at times have made him an unreliable target, even when open. Before going down with an injury last season, Arnold showed a solid rapport with Lawrence, and that familiarity could pay off should Lawrence and Engram struggle to get on the same page early on.