So there’s hope...
After an abysmal Week 3 performance in a loss to the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars crossed the pond and entered their Week 4 matchup against the 2-1 Atlanta Falcons with a fire in their belly. And though their performance wasn’t perfect, the Jaguars were able to score a 23-7 win and begin righting the ship. Though the trend of rookies struggling to find play time remained unchanged, the ones who did play performed well, with one rookie logging his best performance of the year.
Anton Harrison: Rookie performances on Sunday were highlighted by Harrison’s performance, who logged a season-best 0 official pressures allowed on 36 pass-blocking snaps. He also performed reasonably well on his 30 run-blocking snaps, though the Jags’ OL struggled to create running lanes all day. He blew a block at one point during the game, however, it did not affect the play, as Trevor Lawrence astutely left the pocket to complete the pass. Harrison ended up logging the highest PFF grade of any rookie tackle in week 4: 75.4 in pass-blocking and 64.1 against the run. Overall, these past 2 weeks have been a big step in the right direction.
Tank Bigsby: Tank Bigsby remained quiet this week, logging only 3 carries for 10 yards. He did have one nice run called back due to a penalty by fellow rookie Brenton Strange. Interestingly, despite being touted during the offseason as the bulldozing short-down back, Etienne has been taking the majority of these snaps in recent weeks, leaving fans to wonder whether Bigsby’s errors in Week 1 cost him the trust of the staff. Hopefully, he can get back on track in the coming weeks.
Other Rookie Performances:
Brenton Strange: It was a rough week for Strange. He was third in snaps on the day among Jaguars TEs (behind Evan Engram and Luke Farrell), and he ended up costing the Jags more yardage than he earned. On a day when the Jags’ run-blocking struggled, Strange’s most notable contribution was a double-penalty play. On an outside run to Etienne, Strange received a holding call during the play and a personal foul call after the play. Not his best work.
Yasir Abdullah: Abdullah was on the field for a mere 8 snaps, half of which involved rushing the quarterback. Though he failed to get into the backfield during his limited opportunities, he was able to shed a couple of blocks.
Grade: C (with limited data points)
Tyler Lacy: Lacy played on 10 snaps on Sunday and failed to log a pressure or tackle. Though his opportunities have been few, it was another forgettable performance for Lacy.
Parker Washington left early with an injury, and Antonio Johnson spent the week on the injury report. Christian Braswell and Elijah Cooks were both healthy but didn’t receive any playing time.
On the bright side, Anton Harrison has continued to improve over these past couple of weeks and is performing passably well in a position of need for the Jaguars. If he can keep this up, it may just justify his selection in the first round.
Outside of Harrison, however, It’s been a quiet start for some Jaguars rookies and a downright rough start for others. If the Jags were sitting at 4-0 or 3-1 and looking like a top 7 team, this would be less of an issue. However, our current middle-of-the-pack performance suggests that the Jags made a mistake in drafting for depth beyond the first round, particularly with strong players in positions of need still on the board. Hopefully, the Jags can build off of this win and prove that we belong in the contender conversation.
Duval, which rookie will be the first to make a splash play? Let us know in the comments!