In a cloud of uncertainty, there is one truth that lies before the Jaguars this off-season; Logan Cooke, who received three All-Pro votes this past season.
Cooke is the only Jaguars player to earn any All-Pro votes in 2021. Coming off of a 3-14 season, there were certainly more negatives than positives and major changes are needed to steer this team in the right direction as the rebuild is set to continue. But Cooke was one of those few positives, finishing fourth in the league in All-Pro votes at punter despite the Jaguars' lack of team success.
Cooke had an exceptional season. His 44.3 net average was second in the league among punters, only trailing Bryan Anger of the Dallas Cowboys. He was also tied for fourth in the league with 28 punts inside the 20-yard line, consistently giving his opponents a tough field position.
If these stats are not indicative of his status as one of the better punters of the 2021 season, he was tied for the league lead with only one touchback and second to Thomas Morestead with 26 fair catches. Cooke’s increased comfort level this season is a huge reason for his continued success.
“I think the biggest thing like you said is after the fourth season you get really comfortable,” Cooke told Jaguar Report in December. “I went into my senior year of college and I kind of felt like I understand punting now. Even once I got into the league you learn more and more every year. My rookie year, I was just trying to stay alive and you know hit a good ball. I was so worried about that. Now it’s like I kind of look at punting like playing keep-away with a guy.”
Cooke is currently under contract for three more seasons after signing a four-year extension worth $12 million prior to the start of this past season. As the Jaguars look to improve their team through free agency and the draft, finding more impact playmakers are paramount to establishing a winning culture.
Cooke has proven to be an asset for the Jaguars. While the punter doesn’t often get the spotlight, it is a position that is key to establishing a solid special teams unit and helps bail out the offense when they stagnate on a drive. Consistently putting the ball deep in opposing territory also creates pressure for the other team to drive the length of the field to score, making the defense's job easier.
The Jaguars got a great value pick with Cooke in the 2018 draft. Finding more like him is important for the team to accelerate their rebuild and get on track towards building a solid football team.