Jaguars Mailbag: Just How Significant Will Week 1 in Houston Be?

In this week's mailbag we take a look at questions on Week 1 in Houston, Trevor Larence's weight, and more.
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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.

You can submit your questions every week by tweeting them to the Jaguar Report Twitter handle or by submitting them here.

This week we take questions on the importance of the team's Week 1 bout with the Houston Texans, Trevor Lawrence and more.

Q: What was your impression of the difference in arm talent between Lawrence and Minshew in person?

A: I think there is a stark difference that honestly doesn't take too long to distinguish and notice. That isn't meant to criticize Minshew, either, because his arm has been underrated to a degree throughout his career. But the ball simply comes out of Lawrence's hands at a different velocity. Getting serious rotation on the ball, especially on deep passes, is something that no Jaguars' quarterback proved to be capable of over the past two seasons, but Lawrence has done it over and over again. The ball simply explodes when Lawrence throws it and it does so to an extent that no other quarterback on the Jaguars' roster can really compare to. 

Arm talent is more than just arm strength though. Touch and accuracy are just as vital components, and Lawrence stood out there as well. He was consistently fitting passes into tight windows at all levels of the field during minicamp, with the red zone periods showing just how precise his placement can be. Couple that with his pure arm strength and Lawrence's arm talent pops on the practice field. 

Q: Assuming that: Chark, Jones, Shenault, Johnson, and Camp are locks does it come down to Dorsett vs Treadwell for 1 spot and Agnew vs Cooper for the final spot

A: I think Phillip Dorsett will be the favorite to be the team's No. 4 receiver, so I am not sold Laquon Treadwell has a realistic shot at making the roster. Then when it comes to Agnew, he is too important to the team's special teams plans to not let him make the roster, even if he is the least experienced receiver on the roster from a pure reps standpoint. 

My final guess at the Jaguars' six receivers? Chark, Shenault, Jones, Dorsett, Johnson, and Agnew. I think Jalen Camp and Josh Imatorbhebhe make sense as practice squad additions who the team can call up in the event of injury, but as of now the Jaguars seem to like their mix of veterans and young talent at receiver.

Q: Who will lead the team in sacks this year?

A: Josh Allen. Allen will be unleashed as a 3-4 outside linebacker this season, finally being allowed to play the position that made him a top-10 pick and one of the best defenders in the SEC a few seasons ago. Allen has already proven he can get after the quarterback, recording 13 sacks in 24 games, even leading the team in sacks in 2020 when he played just eight games. 

The Jaguars have a group of interesting pass-rushers on the edge behind Allen and along the interior, but none are the proven pass-rushers that Allen is. He will benefit from the new scheme and a healthier 2021 and ultimately be far and away the Jaguars' leader in sacks. K'Lavon Chaisson could be in his neighborhood in terms of quarterback hits and Dawuane Smooth could climb up the board when it comes to pressures, but Allen is the safe bet to lead the team in sacks. 

Q: On a scale of 1-10, how well does Trevor Lawrence play this upcoming season?

A: Are we scaling this compared to relative average NFL quarterback play or relative average rookie quarterback play? If it is the former, I would say around a 6. Lawrence will have weeks where he looks like the future of the entire sport and will likely have enough production and impressive showings to make his rookie year a successful one, but he is still a rookie. Even the best rookie quarterbacks struggle at times and show their youth, and a player like Lawrence who has a gun-slinger mentality shouldn't be expected to be much different. 

Compared to other rookie quarterbacks, I would put it closer to an eight. All the reviews from Jaguars' coaches and players have been that Lawrence has looked exactly as advertised on and off the field. Lawrence should be expected to be at least somewhere around Justin Herbert's level in terms of success as a rookie. While those are lofty goals, Lawrence is a rare player. 

Q: With his offseason surgery it may be hard to reach it this year, but what do you think is Trevor Lawrence's ideal playing weight? He looked pretty thin during OTAs.

A: Lawrence weighed in at 213 at his pro day and that is likely a bit below where the Jaguars would like to see him throughout his career, but as you mentioned, there was an offseason shoulder surgery that negated him from being able to really add on weight. I ultimately think carrying around 225 pounds is doable for Lawrence as he continues to get acclimated to the NFL and its strength and training programs, but it should be noted that Lawrence has always been a somewhat thin passer. This isn't a concern, but it is worth noting, especially since Lawrence had to work to get to 220 at Clemson.

Q: Do you think the Jaguars will make any summer trades? Meyer seems unpredictable

We have touched on this before to some extent, but my ultimate answer is this: I don't think so. This Jaguars' regime hasn't been afraid to work the trade market, moving Josh Oliver to Baltimore and dealing a late-round draft pick for nose tackle Malcom Brown. But the Jaguars have yet to make a truly "splash" move when it comes to allocating assets.

There has been no massive overpay in free agency or bundling of draft picks for any stars on the outs with their team to this point because it appears the Jaguars know that their rebuild isn't yet at that point. Meyer has said in the past the Jaguars will eventually be more aggressive as the locker room continues to be shaped in his image, so I expect them to make these blockbuster moves starting potentially next season, but not this summer.

Q: How has Dylan Moses looked? It there was a lot of hype for him being a UDFA pickup, but it has been quiet about him during OTAs and minicamp.

A: Moses didn't do much during the offseason because he was working to the side, the same situation as Andre Cisco. Moses played with a torn meniscus in his knee throughout most of his final season at Alabama and then had surgery during the offseason. While he is the jewel of the Jaguars' undrafted free agent haul, he simply hasn't been at the stage to make much of an impression to this point. Moses will be a name to watch eventually, but this offseason was never going to be one where he was overly active.

Q: Is playing The Texans, many people's favorites for the #1 pick in the 2022 draft, in week 1 next season a good thing for us to ease into, or is it a good thing for them to face us when our very new team is at its least experienced?

A: This is a good question. I have said before that the Jaguars' Week 1 road trip to Houston will be one of the most important and significant games of the entire season. Week 1 often sets a tone for a season (For example, look at 2017), and the Jaguars will have the ultimate test for the momentum of their season against the Texans. The Texans are considered to be the worst team in the league entering this season, so the Jaguars losing to them in Week 1 could derail any positive momentum they wish to build to start the Urban Meyer era.

Ultimately, I think the Jaguars have the better advantage in this scenario. The Texans are going to be undergoing just as much change as the Jaguars considering they will have a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator. The Texans will likely also have a new starting quarterback, with there being some potential of that quarterback being a rookie passer in Davis Mills. Both teams will be operating under a veil of change in Week 1, but the Jaguars have better talent across the board to compensate for it.

Q: Is there any veteran who could be on the roster bubble that could surprise people?

A: I don't think Taven Bryan is a name that would surprise people. He has been bumped down the depth chart a few times in his career already and the current Jaguars' regime and coaching staff have zero ties to him. The former first-round pick has been a disappointment to this point and the fact of the situation is that him making the final 53-man roster could be a more surprising outcome than him getting cut.

Instead, my answer is going to be free safety Jarrod Wilson. Wilson has been a serviceable but unspectacular starter for the Jaguars over the last two years, starting 28 of 32 possible games and recording 148 tackles, seven pass deflections and three interceptions. He is a familiar face who has rarely been one of the "problems" of the defense, but the Jaguars have brought in a host of new safeties and it could become hard to justify keeping Wilson on the roster compared to more high-ceiling options.