The Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the laughingstock of the NFL for the past four seasons.
They had a losing record every year and their best season during the period was 2019 when they were 6-10.
After getting plenty of high draft picks for all those losing seasons, is Jacksonville ready to struggle in their division?
The answer to that has a lot to do with the development of quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The 2021 first-choice struggled in his rookie season, but he didn’t get much support from the coaches around him.
Former head coach Urban Meyer was fired after 13 games and the whole season has been a mess for Jacksonville.
Lawrence has struggled all year, throwing for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
But, the flashes of brilliance were there for the rookie who finished fourth in the NFL in money throws.
– NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022
Now, with an experienced head coach like Doug Pederson taking the helm, the Jags have a chance to surprise some people.
Pederson has a history of developing young QBs.
While in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz had the best year of his career with Pederson.
Now the test will be for Lawrence to develop under the attacking-minded head coach.
Battle for AFC South
For the past two seasons, the AFC South has been won by the Tennessee Titans.
But, the defending champions are expected to take a step back this year after trading wide receiver AJ Brown.
Plus, they still have 34-year-old quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the helm.
In Indianapolis, the Colts traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and added Matt Ryan as their new QB.
It should be an upgrade for this coming season, but it’s fair to wonder how much Ryan, 37, has left in the tank.
Houston Texas are in rebuilding mode after trading Deshaun Watson and selling the franchise to Davis Mills.
That leaves us with Jacksonville.
In most seasons, the team with the best quarterback in the division wins.
It’s not crazy to think that Lawrence could be the best QB in the South this year.
The 22-year-old is by far the most talented quarterback and is expected to make a leap forward in 2022.
The Jaguars front office surrounded Lawrence with many qualified new players to help him develop.
They added Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram and welcome first-round pick Travis Etienne.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 20, 2022
Kirk is expected to be the new number one receiver after signing a big contract this offseason.
Etienne, Lawrence’s former college teammate should be the Jags’ workhorse.
Plus, he’s a great wide receiver who will help get out of the backfield.
Jacksonville’s defense has even improved a lot over the past year.
They added 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker to their defense.
With another first-round pick in linebacker Devin Lloyd.
The Jaguars may be too inexperienced to challenge for the AFC South title.
But, they certainly have the pieces in play to make some noise in the near future.