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The Jacksonville Jaguars took a major step forward in their rebuild process last offseason, acquiring franchise quarterback Nick Foles from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jags looked to be in good shape to take a step forward in 2018, but then disaster struck.
The 2018 NFL Draft brought the Jaguars their first true franchise quarterback since David Garrard, and their first true franchise quarterback since the days of Byron Leftwich. He is not your typical franchise quarterback. He is not Russell Wilson, nor Tom Brady. He is not the player the Jaguars should have taken at number 1 overall, but he is the player they took at 11.
The Jacksonville Jaguars went into the 2021 NFL Draft with a lot of holes on their roster. Instead of providing Trevor Lawrence with much-needed protection or a great pass-catcher with their second first-round selection, the Jaguars selected running back Travis Etienne at No. 25 overall.
As if drafting a running back in the first round wasn’t bad enough, Jacksonville’s perplexing choice has now taken a turn for the worst. After sustaining a foot injury in Monday night’s preseason game, Etienne will now miss the whole season, setting Lawrence up for a terrible rookie season.
Travis Etienne was drafted in the first round by the Jaguars, which was a puzzling error.
RB Travis Etienne of the Jacksonville Jaguars catches a pass during mandatory minicamp | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Coming into the 2021 offseason, the Jaguars’ most pressing need was for a quarterback. Gardner Minshew is entertaining, but he will not be a starting quarterback in the NFL for many years. Fortunately for the Jaguars, who were so bad last season that they were given the first overall selection in the NFL draft.
There was never any question about who Jacksonville would choose first overall. Since high school, Lawrence has been the top overall talent in the 2021 class. He was the second selection when the NFL season concluded in 2020.
Following Lawrence’s selection, the Jaguars turned their attention to the team’s numerous other issues. The most important objectives were tight end, wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive line, thus the Jags went for a running back at 25th overall after seeing James Robinson have the greatest rookie season of any undrafted free agency RB in NFL history.
Sure, they wanted to reunite their new franchise quarterback with his Clemson colleague, but the Jaguars’ offense was in desperate need of help.
One of them was not running back.
Jacksonville might have improved their mediocre receiving core by adding Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, or Rondale Moore, as well as their weak offensive line by adding Landon Dickerson or Teven Jenkins. The Jags, on the other hand, went with Etienne, and it’s already come back to bite them.
According to the findings of today’s tests, Jaguars rookie running back Travis Etienne sustained a mid-foot sprain that is Lisfranc and will now likely terminate his season, according to a source.
August 24, 2021 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
Etienne was forced to leave Monday night’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints after just one carry and one target. Later, he was seen going to the locker room in a walking boot, frightening every Jaguars fan watching from home.
Those worries became nightmares on Tuesday.
Etienne has a “mid-foot injury that is Lisfranc,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and will need surgery. The Jaguars put their first-round RB on injured reserve a short time later, thus terminating his rookie season before it even began.
With the Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence is preparing for a dreadful first season.
The Jaguars blew the No. 25 overall selection by selecting a running back over a positional need that was more pressing. To be effective as a rookie, Lawrence needs more great weapons and more reliable offensive linemen in front of him, and it seems like he won’t have either in 2021.
Jacksonville will need to be wiser about surrounding him with a supporting roster now that they have a great franchise cornerstone for years to come. Last season, Robinson showed he can handle a backfield burden on his own. It was unnecessary to spend a first-round selection on a new, more costly running back.
The Jaguars will now receive nothing from their second first-round selection instead of pushing plays to an RB they didn’t really need.
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- addie mae collins