Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

HAYS BLOG: Ranking the 10 players the Jaguars can’t lose

todaySeptember 10, 2021


By Hays Carlyon


First-round running back Travis Etienne has already been lost for the season with a foot injury.

The Jaguars simply can’t afford much more attrition. That’s a tough ask with a new 17-game schedule launching Sunday at Houston.

But who are the 10 players the Jaguars simply must have available on a weekly basis? Let’s rank them. Talent as well as depth at a position are paramount in these rankings.


1.QB Trevor Lawrence

Why: An obvious choice. The Jaguars need Lawrence to be spectacular to have any chance of winning seven or more games. If the rookie is unavailable, the Jaguars have virtually no chance of being competitive. Backup C.J. Beathard is 2-10 in his career as a starter.


  1. OLB Josh Allen

Why: Allen is the only somewhat established edge rusher. The 24-year-old missed eight games last season and produced 2 ½ sacks. As a rookie, Allen made the Pro Bowl with 10 ½ sacks. Losing Allen would force K’Lavon Chaisson, Dawuane Smoot and Jihad Ward into bigger roles than they should have.


  1. MLB Myles Jack

Why: Jack is the lone playmaker at middle linebacker. The 26-year-old was a bright spot in last season’s 1-15 season. The other top inside linebackers – Damien Wilson and Shaq Quarterman – aren’t nearly as physically gifted as Jack.


  1. CB Shaq Griffin

Why: Griffin brings a veteran presence and playmaking ability that no other corner on the team can match. Second-year veteran CJ Henderson is working his way towards reliability. Tyson Campbell is a rookie. The 26-year-old Griffin is also an outstanding leader.


  1. RB James Robinson

Why: Robinson’s importance grew after Etienne’s season-ending injury. The 23-year-old Robinson went for over 1,400 yards of total offense with 10 touchdowns as a rookie. His running style consistently keeps the Jaguars in good down-and-distance situations. If Robinson gets hurt, the Jaguars would rely on Carlos Hyde.


  1. C Brandon Linder

Why: Linder has only played a full season once in his seven-year career, but he remains the team’s best offensive lineman. The 29-year-old Linder has started 79 career games and he’ll provide a steady hand for Lawrence. Tyler Shatley is a capable replacement at center, which is why Linder isn’t in the top five.


  1. NT DaVon Hamilton

Why: Hamilton appears ready for a breakout season. He showed promise last season as a rookie. The Jaguars will need the 24-year-old Hamilton to lead the run-stuffing effort. The Jaguars allowed 2,452 rushing yards last season, with a 4.7-yard-per-carry average, and surrendered 23 touchdowns on the ground. There is simply nothing noteworthy behind Hamilton.


  1. DT Malcom Brown

Why: Brown’s value mirrors Hamilton’s. There is simply no interior defensive line depth. The 27-year-old Brown is probably playing somewhat out of position. His 11 ½ career sacks in six seasons means he isn’t going to regularly collapse the pocket. However, his value in helping stop the run will be enormous.


  1. S Rayshawn Jenkins

Why: Jenkins is the only good safety on the roster, at least for now. His loss would be a tough challenge for the defense. The 27-year-old Jenkins also looks like a nice find as a free agent. He’s been tremendous both on and off the field since arriving from the Chargers.


  1. LG Andrew Norwell

Why: The 29-year-old Norwell played well last season. He’s started 94 games in his career (40 with the Jaguars). I’m still concerned about whether second-year veteran Ben Bartch could adequately replace Norwell.



*No receiver made the list. Why? Because I like the top three almost equally. DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones are all quality players. No one wants to see any of this talented trio get hurt, but the offense could survive an injury here.

*The roster has talent. Players like defensive end Ray Robertson-Harris, left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor have had good moments in this league. The two specialists, kicker Josh Lambo and punter Logan Cooke, have been excellent as Jaguars.

*There are also a group of young players that could push to make this list. Henderson and outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson have potential. The rookie class beyond Lawrence: Campbell, safety Andre Cisco and perhaps offensive tackle Walker Little could also have big seasons.


(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

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todaySeptember 10, 2021