The Jacksonville Jaguars‘ skill position players were arguably the biggest reason for its incredible success in 2022. The emergence of Trevor Lawrence was the main story of the season, as the second-year quarterback broke out as one of the best young stars at the position today. The additions of Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram proved to be vital to Lawrence’s leap in production, while a healthy Travis Etienne made up for his lost rookie year with to a 1,000-yard rushing season.
This group of skill players finished their first year together and ranked 10th in total offense with over 357 yards per game. Fast forward to today, and the team has added former second-team All-Pro receiver Calvin Ridley as well as 2023 NFL draftees Tank Bigsby and Brenton Strange to the mix, to create a potentially unquestioned top-tier offense.
Let’s dive into what the numbers could look like for these playmakers this season. Here are the stat predictions for each Jaguars skill position player in 2023.
QB Trevor Lawrence
After a forgettable rookie season marred by ineptitude around him, Trevor Lawrence finally broke out as one of the top young quarterbacks in today’s NFL. He finished his second season in the top 10 of just about every major passing metric on his way to having one of the biggest statistical leaps we’ve ever seen at the position.
His performance in the second half of the season was by far the best stretch of football he’s played in his career, as he was playing at the level of the NFL’s elite from Week 9 on.
#Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is the second highest-graded QB in the league since Week 9, according to PFF.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) December 13, 2022
He has the best completion percentage among QBs with at least 60 dropbacks during that span at 71.8 %.
He has the second-highest quarterback rating during that time too.
That level of play is now going to be expected of Lawrence moving forward. It will be his second season in Doug Pederson’s offense, and he now has Ridley added to an already good group of pass catchers. Barring some unforeseen setback, Trevor Lawrence is set up to post career marks across the board in 2023.
428 of 650 (65.8)
4,745 passing yards (279.1 YPG)
32 TD and 12 INT
RB Travis Etienne
After missing his entire rookie year with an injury in 2021, Travis Etienne introduced himself to the Duval faithful as one of the biggest home run threats at the running back position today. His four runs of 40+ yards were tied with Derrick Henry for the league lead, and he would finish his first official season in Jacksonville with 1,441 total yards and five touchdowns.
Despite Etienne’s success, the Jaguars have still made a concerted effort to add to the running back room this offseason. They brought back JaMycal Hasty, signed D’Ernest Johnson in free agency, and used a third-round pick on Tank Bigsby.
The new depth at the position would indicate that we could see a slight dip in Etienne’s numbers in 2023, but Doug Pederson sure doesn’t think so. He made headlines last week after speculating that Etienne could be “pushing 1,600-1,700 yards as a rusher.” Ultimately, the truth probably lies somewhere between those two scenarios.
260 carries for 1,220 yards (4.69 YPC)
38 receptions for 350 yards
7 total TD
RB Tank Bigsby
The Jaguars took Bigsby out of Auburn 63rd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft and he’s expected to play a significant role. He could be the thunder to Travis Etienne’s lightning, as his size and power make him the perfect complement to Jacksonville’s starter.
In fact, Bigsby may even provide a little more when it comes to runs between the tackles, as well as in the pass game. He’s already turned heads in training camp and was impressive in the team’s first preseason contest against the Dallas Cowboys.
After being listed as the teams’ RB2 on their first unofficial depth chart, fans should expect Bigsby to make a real impact on what should be one of the league’s top offenses in 2023.
140 carries for 650 yards (4.64 YPC)
28 receptions for 230 yards
6 total TD
RB JaMycal Hasty
Hasty joined the Jaguars ahead of the 2022 season and had some nice moments in his first year with the team. He finished second at the position in snaps and provided value on special teams as well. However, after Jacksonville invested a third-round pick in Bigsby, Hasty is likely going to see diminished offensive snaps in 2023.
25 carries for 100 yards (4 YPC)
10 receptions for 75 yards
1 total TD
WR Calvin Ridley
Ridley has not played football in nearly two years after being suspended for the entire 2022 season, and yet his expectations heading into the 2023 season are still through the roof.
He has been the biggest star throughout the Jacksonville Jaguars’ training camp to this point, and it looks as though he hasn’t lost a step since his second-team All-Pro season in 2020. His speed, route-running, and overall savviness of the position have always made him a matchup nightmare for opposing corners, and his game should be a nice complement to what Christian Kirk and Zay Jones already offer the offense.
Ridley is expected to slide into the X receiver role this season as the team's WR1, but I wouldn’t expect career numbers from Ridley. Lawrence has already developed a great rapport with Kirk, Jones, and even Evan Engram for that matter, so the overall numbers might not match the actual impact he will make on this team. Still, he should help Lawrence and the Jaguars’ passing attack reach that next tier of NFL offenses if all goes well.
85 receptions for 1,120 yards
WR Christian Kirk
There were plenty out there who believed the Jaguars overpaid for Kirk when they signed him to a four-year, $72 million contract during the 2022 offseason. But Kirk proved he was worth every penny after having a career year on his way to his first 1,000-yard season as a pro.
The veteran undoubtedly has the trust of Trevor Lawrence and should be in line for another big season in year two with the team. The addition of Ridley does make it tough for Kirk to outperform his output from a year ago, but he should still be in line to put up big numbers.
80 receptions for 1,050 yards
WR Zay Jones
Zay Jones was another member of that free agency spending spree the Jacksonville Jaguars had in 2022 and proved to be a vital piece of the puzzle for the teams’ passing attack in his first year in Duval. He finished the season with career highs in receptions (82) and yards (823), and it felt as though anytime Trevor Lawrence absolutely needed a completion, he was looking for Zay Jones.
However, for as in sync as he and Lawrence have been, Jones likely stands to lose the most with Calvin Ridley being added to the mix. Jones did a lot of his damage on third down last season, but with him dropping a spot on the depth chart, his position in Lawrence’s progressions could lead to fewer opportunities than he has a year ago. Still, Jones has built a lot of trust within the offense and should still hold an important role in the passing attack.
60 receptions for 650 yards
WR Jamal Agnew
Jamal Agnew is one of the most unique weapons in the entire NFL. He’s made a career off his elite ability as a return man, which he showcased yet again last season with three returns of over 50 yards, including a 52-yarder in the AFC Wild Card round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Agnew was also able to make an impact on offense in 2022, totaling 23 receptions for 187 yards and posting a career-high in receiving touchdowns with three. Expect his role to remain the same in 2023.
25 offensive touches for 185 yards
1 offensive TD
1 kick return TD
WR Parker Washington
Parker Washington was taken in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft and is slated to be the fifth wide receiver on the depth chart. Washington is fresh off a solid preseason debut in Dallas, where he showcased his ability as a return man on the punt unit. The first official depth chart listed Washington as Jamal Agnew’s primary backup for return duties so expect the majority of his impact to be on special teams this season.
10 receptions for 115 yards
5 punt returns for 35 yards
TE Evan Engram
After betting on himself and signing a one-year deal with the Jaguars last March, Engram proved his doubters wrong. He finished his first season in Duval with career highs in yards (766) and receptions (73) on his way to becoming one of Lawrence’s favorite targets.
His undeniable impact on the offense resulted in a shiny new three-year contract this offseason, making him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the entire league. It seems like a safe bet that that impact will continue in 2023, as Engram should be in line for another big year in Jacksonville.
65 receptions for 700 yards
TE Luke Farrell
The third-year tight end out of Ohio State is currently slated as the second tight end on the depth chart and should see plenty of snaps in 2023 when the team runs out 12 and 13 personnel (two- and three-tight-end sets), which Doug Pederson does at a high clip. His primary role will be as a blocker, but Farrell should see a slight uptick in targets this season after the departures of Chris Manhertz and Dan Arnold this offseason.
12 receptions for 90 yards
TE Brenton Strange
Easily the toughest projection on this list, rookie tight end Brenton Strange is an interesting fit in this offense. Jacksonville drafted Strange in the second round of this past draft, which was a bit of a surprise to many.
That’s not to say that Strange isn’t a nice player, because he is. He’s sure-handed, can run after the catch, and has the build and athleticism to provide versatility in terms of where he lines up. However, he’s not as polished a blocker as Ferrell, so he’s not going to get a ton of play in two-tight-end sets. This probably limits Strange to simply being Evan Engram’s backup, but considering Pederson’s affinity for the position, it’s possible he has packages in mind for the rookie that could expand his role in year one.
20 receptions for 200 yards
Jaguars fans, who do you think will outperform their prediction in 2023?