Jaguars’ Jawaan Taylor: Competition with Walker Little ‘helped me get better’

·2 min read

Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor has been one of the pleasant surprises for the team through the first two games the 2022 season.

In his first three NFL seasons, the 2019 second-round pick was more of a liability for the Jaguars offense than an asset, giving up plenty of sacks and racking up penalties. It appeared in the offseason that 2021 second-rounder Walker Little was primed to snatch the starting right tackle role from Taylor.

But Taylor won the job and through two games, he’s been fantastic at keeping quarterback Trevor Lawrence clean.

“It just helped me get better man,” Taylor said Thursday of his battle with Little in August, via the Florida Times-Union. “The competition definitely helped me a lot and just going out and trying to get better and compete with my teammates. At the end of the day, I’m just out here to help my team win games.”

Taylor, 24, is in the final season of his rookie contract so a breakout season couldn’t come at a better time. On Thursday, Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor also credited the competition with Little as a reason for Jawaan Taylor’s strong play.

“He’s done a great job and I think that goes back to even the spring of there was real competition for that job and I think it made everybody better, not only Jawaan [Taylor], but Cam [Robinson], Walker Little,” Press Taylor said. “Everybody that we have expectation they could potentially play on Sunday had to rise to the level of competition there, so I think those guys all did a great job of pushing one another. You’ve seen Jawaan’s work throughout that spring and [that] has continued to kind of show itself so far on game day.”

On Sunday, Taylor has a significant test with the Los Angeles Chargers boasting the pass rushing duo of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. Mack already has four sacks this season and Bosa has 1.5.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire