Each week during this year's offseason, Jaguar Report will take Jacksonville Jaguars-related questions from our readers across social media and answer them in a question-and-answer format, giving readers a chance to have their voices heard.
This week we take questions on where Trevor Lawrence will have to improve, the team's potential biggest drawback on offense, and where the depth could be most important.
Q: Both Bevell and Schottenheimer employed former LBs as fullbacks (Jason Cabinda and Nick Bellore) last season. Who do you see filling in at fullback, and do you see us using one much? Also, just for fun, if you had to transition one which our our backup LBs would you move to fullback?
A: Luke Farrell might be the best option for it. Chris Manhertz is more or less strictly an in-line blocker, playing in the backfield for a grand total of one snap in 2020. The Jaguars aren't likely to ask James O'Shaughnessy or Ben Ellefson to pick up major blocking duties, so Farrell and his ability to block in space make the most sense. I don't imagine the Jaguars will go to the well too often in terms of a fullback, though, because I would imagine most of their two-back sets will have James Robinson and Travis Etienne on the field.
If I had to move a linebacker to fullback? Leon Jacobs. He is one of the most physically imposing players on the entire field because, well, he is massive.
Q: What is one thing Trevor Lawrence will have to improve at during training camp?
A: I truly think the biggest think he will have to improve at is simply decision-making and knowing when he can and can't make throws. I don't say that because it is an area he struggled with at Clemson or during the offseason, but because this is the biggest area of growth and adjustment rookie quarterbacks face during their first season.
Lawrence saw the speed of an NFL defense to an extent over the course of the offseason. He has seen how the passing windows close that much quicker, how much faster, longer, more explosive and stronger the defensive backs and linebackers are, and how quickly the pocket can collapse around him. Lawrence had enough reps at Clemson to know exactly what he could get away with on the field and how much he could press the envelope within and outside the structure of the offense. It will take time for that same confidence and savvy to take over at the NFL level, but working toward that goal will likely be the biggest area of improvement and focus.
Q: How does Tebow look so far compared to his peers?
A: I personally don't think he looked like a player deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster over the course of organized team activities and minicamp, but that was expected. He looked like the team's sixth-best tight end because, well, that is what he is. It shouldn't be expected for him to make a smooth transition into his first offseason as a tight end after not only a lifetime at quarterback, but also years away from the NFL in general.
With this in mind, this could all change during training camp when the shoulder pads come on. Tebow showed off solid hands during the offseason which is a good starting point; Now, he will have to show he can take the physicality of the position, both as a blocker and as a receiver against linebackers. Tebow's chances will become more clear during camp, but for now he is toward the bottom of the team's pecking order at tight end.
Q: Is James Robinson still underrated after his 2020 season?
A: I think this is fair to say right now. James Robinson didn't pop off explosive runs at a high rate last year, but he did everything else wonderfully and was one of the league's most consistent running backs week in and week out. In 14 games, Robinson finished with 1,414 scrimmage yards (1,070 rushing, 344 receiving), the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. He was also the only rookie in the NFL to average more than 100 scrimmage yards per game last season. For all intents and purposes, he was a top-10 running back in 2020 despite the Jaguars having one of the NFL's worst offenses and quarterback situations.
The perception of Robinson nationally seems to have dipped over the course of the offseason, with the peak of his hype seemingly coming in the middle of his rookie campaign. PFF ranked Robinson as the No. 18 running back in the NFL and Robinson's name wasn't mentioned on ESPN's poll of the league's top running backs. The Jaguars drafting Travis Etienne at No. 25 overall likely didn't help with Robinson's national perception, but it wouldn't be a stretch to say he is still somehow underrated after last season.
Q: The new regime has seemingly focused on better depth, but is there a specific position on the roster that is in most trouble if the starter goes down?
A: I am not going to count quarterback because that would be the answer for any team, even a team like the Jaguars who have a competent backup quarterback in Gardner Minshew.
Tight end feels like an obvious answer, specifically at 'Y' tight end. Manhertz is one of the league's best blocking tight ends, but Farrell is an unproven fifth-round rookie who has to prove he can physically make it at the NFL level. Behind them is 2020 draft pick Tyler Davis, who was unable to see the field as a rookie even despite the Jaguars' putrid tight end depth chart.
Edge rusher is another spot to look at. The Jaguars have depth in terms of bodies with Josh Allen, Dawuane Smoot, Jihad Ward, Jordan Smith, and K'Lavon Chaisson, but there is a drop off from the starting group to the backups that is significant enough to potentially cause problems for the defense.
Q: What do you think the biggest need will be a year from now?
A: I wrote about this to an extent earlier this offseason, but I think it will ultimately come down to guard, edge rusher and tight end, with wide receiver as a sleeper. Both of the Jaguars' starting veteran offensive guards are in contract years and while the Jaguars have talented developmental project in Ben Bartch, they still need a second potential backup plan.
As for edge rusher, the Jaguars need more depth behind Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson. It is key for this scheme to have defenders who can consistently disrupt the quarterback, so the Jaguars may have to use next offseason to ensure they have the resources to do so. As for tight end, the Jaguars have more or less put all their chips in on Manhertz and O'Shaughnessy this season, but upgrading over O'Shaughnessy will likely be an offseason priority.
Q: What will be the biggest weakness of the offense this season?
A: I think the offensive tackles are the most likely candidate. I am confident the Jaguars' interior offensive line can pave a way in the running game and keep Trevor Lawrence upright, but the Jaguars are needing both Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor to improve in big ways this year. Each struggled in pass protection in 2020 and without improving there in 2021, the Jaguars' offensive line could potentially hover back around average.
Otherwise, I am not sure there are any glaring weaknesses. The Jaguars don't have a dynamic pass-catching tight end, but they have enough receiving weapons at wide receiver and running back to offset that. They are deep at receiver and have a potentially lethal 1-2 punch at running back. That would leave the tackles and Trevor Lawrence as the last two options, and I am more confident in the latter than the former.
Q: How do you think Urban Meyer will handle losing games? Do you envision him pressing the panic button during the season?
A: I am not sure, but I also don't think Meyer is sure. Meyer can talk in circles about how he has prepared himself for that possibility, but the simple truth is we won't know until we see it. With that said, I feel as if there are enough NFL veterans on the coaching staff and in the locker room to keep Meyer and the Jaguars from spiraling if things go ugly at any point in the season.
Q: I just watched Laurie Fitzpatrick's in depth breakdown of Tyson Campbell's college tape and it got me thinking.., what do you think it is it about him that led to us selecting him ahead of the other corners/safeties on the board at the time like Samuel, Moehrig and Grant?
A: His combination of length and speed. The Jaguars clearly wanted to add a cornerback before a safety (which makes sense considering the positional value), and Campbell was one of the only truly top-tier cornerbacks left on the board at No. 33. The Jaguars likely felt they could get better value and talent with Campbell at No. 33 and a safety later as opposed to a safety early and a cornerback later. As for Samuel, I think the Jaguars simply put an emphasis on size, which Samuel lacks but Campbell has in spades.