5 takeaways after conclusion of Jaguars OTAs

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have concluded their organized team activities for the 2022 season, and now fans must get through a break, which will last five weeks and some change. It marked the second consecutive OTA period with a new coach as Urban Meyer was fired, and Doug Pederson was named the team’s new frontman in February.

The attendance was strong during the first two phases, then during the third phase, Pederson gave most of the veterans off. As a result, the last phase of OTAs, which lasted from Monday to Wednesday of this week, was similar to rookie minicamp. Despite that, the team still got some good work in, and the process was an overall success.

Before we start moving ahead to training camp, here are five takeaways we have from Pederson’s first OTA period with the Jags:

There will be a lot of competition on the OL when camp starts

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson talks with offensive linemen (79) Luke Fortner, (77) Nick Ford and (61) C.J. Wright during Friday’s Rookie Minicamp session. The Jacksonville Jaguars held their first Rookie Minicamp on the turf of TIAA Bank Field Friday afternoon, May 13, 2022. Among those in attendance were the team’s 2022 draft picks.
Jki 051322 Jagsrookieminicamp 13

The Jags will have some things to settle on the offensive line when they return for training camp. Left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard Brandon Scherff will be starting after receiving new contracts this offseason, but it’s unclear who will be the other three starters with them.

Ben Bartch has been receiving starter reps at left guard, but others could push for the spot as it’s too early to consider it solidified. Tyler Shatley saw starter reps at center, but the team also has rookie third-round selection Luke Fortner set to compete with the veteran.

Then at right tackle, Jawaan Taylor continued to see starter reps. Taylor also got some reps at left tackle, and the reason for that is because the Jags will want him to be a swing tackle if he’s not starting. His biggest competition there is 2021 second-round pick Walker Little, who registered three starts last season as a rookie.

The offensive line can’t compete like they would want in OTAs because of the contact rules, so things will settle there when the pads go on. However, the Jags staff has made it clear that the starting five isn’t settled yet, which means fans will have to watch things in the trenches carefully this summer.

Jags getting closer to getting back James Robinson, Jamal Agnew from injury

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) puts on his helmet during the Jaguars minicamp session at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
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The Jags endured a lot of injuries last season on offense, and two players who had season-ending injuries from the unit appeared to be making great progress with their rehab. Those players were running back James Robinson and receiver Jamal Agnew.

The latter player seems to be ahead of the former as Agnew saw some reps on the field during position drills with the receivers and special teamers. In addition to looking like himself on the field, 1010 XL’s Mia O’Brien said that Agnew’s hands have been great in OTAs. All these positive signs could point to him having a tremendous camp whenever the team feels he’s ready for full participation.

As for Robinson, he’s been seen jogging and says he’s been doing so for about a month. Just as Pederson has, he also reiterated that he will be back at some point in training camp.

What both players have shown in OTAs should encourage fans heading forward, as Trevor Lawrence will need both of them. Once training camp arrives, maybe Robinson will be at the same checkpoint where Agnew is now where he can at least take the field for positions drills, but time ultimately will tell.

The Jags appear interested in using Travis Etienne as a utility player

Jun 14, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) participates in a blocking drill during minicamp at Dream Finders Homes practice complex Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of players lost to season-ending injuries last season, running back Travis Etienne returned from the Lisfranc injury that caused him to miss his rookie season. And though padded practices haven’t started yet, he was one of the standouts upon his return, and many feel he looks like one of the fastest players on the field.

As we saw with the last staff, Pederson’s staff has shown interest in making Etienne more than a running back. He’s taken snaps as a receiver, and according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, he looked solid in the process. 

With a great showing in OTAs behind him, Etienne has a lot of momentum heading into camp. That’s huge because the Jags spent a first-round pick on him last season and need a solid 2022 showing out of him if they are to have a chance at the playoffs. 

Travon Walker at least has the look of a No. 1 pick

Jun 13, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker (44) participates in mini camp at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As stated when mentioning the offensive line, fans and media members can’t put a lot into what the players from the defensive line look like in OTAs. However, they can observe whether a player has the look of an NFL player.

Travon Walker checked all of these boxes when it came to his size, length, movement ability, and power. As a result, many media members are beginning to see what drew the Jags to the former national champion prospect.

Walker also has established a good relationship with veteran pass-rusher Josh Allen. Walker says Allen has pushed him as a player and has challenged him to beat his rookie sack record of 10.5, which was set in 2019.

Doug Pederson and Co. are doing their part to heal the team from the Urban Meyer era

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson gives instructions during the Jacksonville Jaguars Organized Team Activity session at TIAA Bank Field Monday, May 23, 2022.
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Early in OTAs, Pederson mentioned that he understands that a part of his job is to heal the team from the disastrous run it had with Urban Meyer as a coach. It’s been well documented that Meyer wasn’t great when it came to the treatment of his players and staff, which gives Pederson an additional job on top of building a winner on the field.

Pederson has done a great job so far in terms of creating the right atmosphere and earning the player’s trust. After seeing the veterans come into the first two phases of OTAs focused, he gave most of them off for mandatory minicamp. The last phase of OTAs was for rookies, injured players, and select veterans, which made it more like a rookie minicamp than anything.

The players have also praised the job that he’s done since being hired in February. That includes the team’s leaders like Trevor Lawrence, James Robinson, and several others. This is something that should give the team a boost throughout the training camp phase, which seems like it was a difficult process last season under Meyer.

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