Jaguars rookie tackle Walker Little stood out in his first preseason game

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie tackle Walker Little took the field for the first time since 2019, after opting out of the 2020 season for the Stanford Cardinal. Even though he has some work to do, Little could still end up being one of the biggest steals in recent history for the Jaguars franchise. Early on in training camp, it was clear that Little was going to bring competitiveness to the offensive line, even Urban Meyer went out of his way to express how shocked he was about his level of talent, “He’s a guy who is probably better than I thought, and I thought he was pretty good.”

Since veteran Cam Robinson is the starting left tackle and Jawaan Taylor is on the opposite side, who signed a 4 year deal back in 2019, Meyer won’t say that Little is the guy for the future. Instead, he will let him prove it by giving him reps at not only left tackle but also at right tackle as well. Coming out of high school, Little played both sides of the line, so if he can prove that he is good enough to step in when Taylor or Robinson comes off the field, then he will have his chance to prove that he should stay.

In college, Little showed the ability to pick up stunts lined up across from the baddest, strongest defensive teams. This was one of the reasons why Meyer decided to pick him up when he saw that Little was available a quarter of the way into the second round.

Little was the first true freshman to start at left tackle at Stanford since 2000. In his first year, Little was named ESPN Freshman All-American, the Pac-12 Freshman Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and all-Pac-12 in 2018. Unfortunately his Junior year he got injured after his first game, and then decided to opt out in 2020. Those missed games should not be a cause for concern; if anything he is well rested. Little is a 325-pound lineman standing 6 foot-7 with under 20% body fat.

In Little’s first preseason game he was picking up guard over defensive end stunts and late rushes by an assortment of players. Little showed quick feet and even after not stepping on the field in over a year and a half, he still showed the same techniques that got him labeled as a top lineman coming out of the draft.

With those old tendencies come some some down-sides. Time and time again, when Little lined up against physical pass rushers in college football, his hand-fighting wasn’t up to par.

Against Notre Dame, there were instances where he kept his hands low until the last very last moment. These one-on-one losses weren’t even against the top edge rushers.

Little showed this same hand work against Cleveland on Saturday. Once Little drops his hands at the snap, all the defensive player has to do is use his speed to rush and leverage to blow right by Little.

These are small details that can go a long way when cleaned up. In the trenches, leverage is everything. Keeping a defensive guy from forcing you to take a back step will give Trevor Lawrence a full extra second in the pocket.

Honestly, the rookie showing these little mis-haps can be the best thing for the team overall. There is nothing worse than throwing a guy in when he isnt ready. Little is almost there, just not quite yet and this will give him time to learn from Robinson, Taylor and other veterans on the offensive line before he can take over the starting role next year.