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Pressure is a key element in sports. There is pressure each and every day for a professional athlete. Pressure to perform is typically the highest of the tension forced upon a player, but there are some players on every team who face more pressure than some of their peers.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are no different than any other team when it comes to pressure. The Jaguars, like the other 31 squads, have a select group of players who are facing pivotal years in their careers entering 2022.

But which Jaguars specifically are facing make-or-break seasons in 2022? Who has the most pressure facing them before training camp begins? We examine five players below, each facing very different circumstances.

OLB K'Lavon Chaisson

The No. 20 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson is facing a key season in 2022. He is entering his fourth defensive scheme in four years going back to his final season at LSU, but Chaisson does have the upside of being in a 3-4 defense this year as opposed to a 4-3 defense, which was an odd fit for him as a rookie.

Chaisson has appeared in 31 games (11 starts) over the last two years, playing 952 defensive snaps -- including 51% of the defensive snaps as a rookie and 39% last year. In that span, he has recorded two sacks, six tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits. Those are numbers you clearly wouldn't expect from a first-rounder, but Chaisson has faced poor scheme fit and poor coaching in his first two seasons.

"Yeah, even for players I think it’s good to have sort of a fresh start, but at the same time he understands that there’s competition here too now at the position," Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said about Chaisson this spring. "That’s a good thing because it allows him to play and utilize his strengths to really showcase what he can do. Again, it just adds the depth that you’re looking for at that position.”

Chaisson saw the Jaguars draft Travon Walker at No. 1 overall to start across from Josh Allen, effectively ending his bid to be a full-time starter unless injuries take place. A season-ending injury to Jordan Smith during OTAs did create a chance for Chaisson to secure a spot on the roster considering he has special teams experience as well, but 2022 could be Chaisson's best and potentially final shot at producing as a pass-rusher for the Jaguars.

WR Laviska Shenault

The Jaguars' third selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after CJ Henderson and Chaisson, Laviska Shenault has been billed for years as a high-ceiling weapon who just needs to right system to produce. The flashes have been there for the No. 42 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but the Jaguars' added enough competition at receiver this offseason to force him into a backup role.

Shenault's career started off strong with the Jaguars getting him reps in the slot and at running back, catching 58 passes for 600 yards and five touchdowns with 18 carries for 91 yards on the NFL's worst team. But he took a step back along with the entire Jaguars' offense in 2021, which has led to his place on the depth chart now.

In 16 games, Shenault caught 63 passes for 619 yards and zero touchdowns, bringing his yards per catch mark down from 10.3 to 9.8 and his yards per target figure down from 7.6 to 6.2. Shenault's catch percentage also took a big hit; after catching 73.4% of his targets in 2020, he caught just 63% in 2021 as Pro Football Reference credited him with eight drops.

Now, Shenault figures to be the Jaguars' No. 4 receiver, sitting behind Marvins Jones and free agent additions Christian Kirk and Zay Jones on the depth chart. The Jaguars are still high on Shenault and what he can offer, but the days of him having a secured spot in the starting offense are over. Now, he will have to prove he can still make an impact without a guaranteed volume of snaps or targets.

"Obviously, he’s just going to be that guy when you get the ball in his hands, he’s going to make a play," Trevor Lawrence said earlier this offseason.

"But as far as just evolving and knowing situationally the right thing to do and route adjustments, all those things, he looks really good. He’s made a big improvement from last year, so it’s been cool to see. I think he’s really hungry. He’s been attacking it and I think it’s showing on the practice field. He’s made a lot of big plays for us already.”

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TE Evan Engram

Few players have entered this offseason with more to prove than Jaguars tight end Evan Engram. After a five-year career with the New York Giants didn't go as either side had planned, Engram has landed with the Jaguars and Pederson in hopes of revitalizing his career. Engram, who the Jaguars signed to a one-year, $9 million deal with $8.25 in guaranteed money, was the only free agent the Jaguars signed to a one-year deal and now has a chance to cash in after this season as long as he has a big year.

Engram, who will turn 28 years old in September, has long been known as an athletic marvel at the tight end position. The No. 23 overall pick out of Ole Miss in 2017, Engram battled inconsistency and injuries during his tenure with the Giants but also flashed the talent that made him a first-rounder.

Now, Engram will get that chance under Pederson. Engram's contract situation is similar to Donte Moncrief's in 2018. Moncrief was given a sizeable one-year deal after flashing rare physical talent, but his failure to produce with the Jaguars on that prove-it deal led to him being a journeyman veteran after his lone season. Now, it will be up to Engram to prove he can turn his potential and his one-year deal into a long-term contract.

"You’re always looking for matchups, so if we can get a guy that we can find a guy with lesser speed to match up with Evan [Engram], whatever that is formationally, motion to do something to create a matchup, then we’re looking to do that," Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said at the end of OTAs.

"Obviously, Evan’s a great speed threat for a tight end position and then he has a certain knack. He has a different skill set in his body than some other guys typically do at the tight end spot. It’s on us to try to put him in those positions where he can maximize his abilities and then not put too much on his plate where he’s thinking and you kind of eliminate some of those things, some of the advantages that he naturally has.”

RT Jawaan Taylor

The most important position battle on the Jaguars roster is set to take place at right tackle. It will be between two former second-round picks in Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little, with the former having the most at stake considering he is entering a contract year in year four of his career.

Taylor, who the Jaguars traded up to select in the 2019 NFL Draft, has started all 49 games in his career and has been a Day 1 starter three years running. Now he will have to fend off Little at right tackle to keep his spot as a starter. If he doesn't, the former top-40 pick will become the Jaguars' swing tackle and a potential candidate to slide to guard, much different expectations than the Jaguars had for him when they moved up for him in 2019.

“I’ve seen where it’s going to be good competition come training camp I think when we put the pads on. It’s hard. We’re not in pads right now with the offseason program, but both guys have performed well," Pederson said.

"They’ve really, I think, taken on this challenge. They know that they’re going to be in a battle, and it was us as coaches to make sure that we communicated that with them. We used them both on the right side, the left side, and got them some valuable reps there. It'll be good competition as we head into camp and as we get deeper into camp to see where this thing falls out.”

OLB Josh Allen

While Chaisson is a former first-rounder who will have to fight for snaps on the field, Josh Allen is in a much different situation. Allen is set to not just be an every-down player and starter for the Jaguars, but he is seen as one of the core voices and pieces of the entire defense and roster.

Still, Allen is facing a significant year in 2022. The fourth-year pass-rusher had his fifth-year option exercised by the Jaguars, but both he and the franchise are hoping he can get back to his rookie form to help rebuild the Jaguars' defense. Allen came in fourth in AP Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2019, earning a nod as a Pro Bowl alternate as he set a Jaguars rookie record in sacks (10.5) while recording 11 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hits, along with two forced fumbles. He became the first Jaguars rookie to ever appear in the Pro Bowl.

Since then, though, Allen has played in 24 games and recorded 10 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 25 quarterback hits. He exploded as a pass-rusher as a rookie, but the last two years have seen his production barely match what he did in one year as a rookie. Now, it will be up to Allen to up his production and prove he is a candidate for a big contract.

“I mean that’s just it, just be consistent, just be who he is. Don’t try to do anything other than just be Josh Allen," Pederson this offseason.

"Let his talent speak for itself and feed off of the guys around him and step up as a leader, which we’ve seen him do since he’s been back. He’s an excitable player, someone that can make a lot of plays on defense, and I think with some of the new additions that he’ll be able to get back to that."