The Jacksonville Jaguars will kick off the 2021 season -- and a new era -- against the Houston Texans on Sunday, but a few new faces won't be hitting the field.
The Jaguars announced their Week 1 inactives Sunday afternoon, with three rookie draft picks among the group -- including No. 45 overall pick Walker Little, who has been slotted as the team's No. 2 left tackle throughout all of training camp and the preseason.
Including Little, the Jaguars also ruled defensive tackle Jay Tufele (Round 4, No. 106 overall) and defensive end/outside linebacker Jordan Smith (Round 4, No. 121 overall) as healthy inactives.
Add in first-round pick Travis Etienne (No. 25 overall), who is out for his entire rookie season with a foot injury, and sixth-round receiver Jalen Camp (No. 209 overall), who was released during roster cut downs and is now on Houston's practice squad, and the Jaguars have just four of their nine draft picks active for Sunday's game.
The headliner of that group is, of course, No. 1 overall pick and starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Aside from him, the Jaguars will also play cornerback Tyson Campbell (Round 2, No. 33 overall), safety Andre Cisco (Round 3, No. 65 overall), and tight end Luke Farrell (Round 5, No. 145 overall).
Since the Jaguars have no rookie undrafted free agents on the active roster, those four rookies will be the entire extent of the Jaguars' rookie class set to make their NFL debuts on Sunday. Considering the Jaguars' 1-15 record last season, it is a bit of a surprise to see half of the healthy draft class not playing in Week 1.
Of course, the Jaguars' entire success (or lack thereof) during the 2021 NFL Draft will hinge on Lawrence's long-term development and his ability to establish himself as a franchise quarterback.
With a victory against the Texans, Lawrence would join Sam Darnold (2018), Marcus Mariota (2015), Robert Griffin III (2012) and Andy Dalton (2011) as the only rookie QBs to win in Week 1 on the road since 2010.
He would also become the fifth quarterback drafted first overall to win his first career start since the common draft era (1967-present). The last quarterback selected with the first pick to win his first career start was David Carr with the Texans in 2002. The previous 25 before Lawrence are a combined 4-20-1 in their first career starts.
But, outside of Lawrence, the Jaguars' 2021 draft class will mostly be watching from the sidelines. Expect for Campbell to start at nickel while Cisco rotates at strong safety, while Farrell will be the No. 3 tight end. After a nine-player draft class, that is what the Jaguars' rookie contributions will be in Week 1.