Urban Meyer updates progress of Andre Cisco, rookie class

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Of Jacksonville’s 10 draft picks, one stands tall above the rest. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was one of the most hyped passing prospects in recent memory, and the Jaguars used their first-ever first-overall pick to select him. Naturally, the expectations were high, and while the team is 1-5, he is delivering.

While he still has a ways to go in his development, the pick looks like a home run right now. However, when it comes to the rest of the draft class, there are a lot more questions.

Running back Travis Etienne was expected to play a major role on offense this year, but a foot fracture in the preseason ended his 2021 season. Cornerback Tyson Campbell, a second-round pick, is now starting on the outside after the C.J. Henderson trade, but the rest of the picks have yet to make much of an impact.

Coach Urban Meyer addressed the progress of these players on Monday, including that of one of the fan-favorite picks, safety Andre Cisco. Many thought Cisco would be a Day 1 starter at free safety, but that mantle has gone to Andrew Wingard. After seeing defensive snaps in the first two weeks, Cisco only played on special teams in the next three games. On Sunday, he saw two defensive snaps.

According to Meyer, Cisco is practicing well and could be able to play a bigger role soon. He’s apparently not the only one.

“(Andre) Cisco is getting very close and he would be the next one,” Meyer said. “(OL) Walker Little just takes a little bit of time, but we are really happy with him. He is going to be a good player in the NFL and George (OL Coach George Warhop) loves him. Obviously Travis Etienne (is injured). Tyson Campbell is a starting corner for us. Jay Tufele, the reason we activated him is because he really was coming on and then he gets hurt. Jordan Smith is still a work in progress. Luke Farrell is what we thought and maybe a little bit better.”

With Ben Bartch going down with an injury on Sunday, most of the playing time at right guard went to swing player Will Richardson Jr. But Little saw a few snaps there, and he’s starting to work his way into the rotation, even if it’s only due to injuries.

Tufele, meanwhile, was supposed to be active on Sunday, but Meyer said that he broke his hand during pregame warmups, and the team is not yet sure if he will need surgery or just a cast. His fellow rookie on the defensive line, Smith, is still yet to appear in a game, and he was considered a raw prospect coming out of college at Alabama Birmingham.

Farrell is seeing the most playing time of any rookie other than Lawrence and Campbell, and he has five catches for 46 yards on the season, more than free-agent pickup Chris Manhertz. However, the team is currently down James O’Shaughnessy, and Dan Arnold, who was acquired from Carolina in the C.J. Henderson trade, has emerged in his absence.

Arnold has 10 catches for 120 yards in the three games since the Jags landed him, which is the most of any tight end on the roster. He could play a big role in the offense moving forward, especially considering the lack of production from the other tight ends.

For a team that needed to rebuild this offseason, the Jags’ aren’t getting a ton of playing time out of their rookies currently. But they have several players that they like as developmental prospects, and we could see some, like Cisco, have expanded roles as the season progresses.