Jacksonville Jaguars News and Notes from the NFL Combine Week

Jaguars News

Jacksonville Jaguars first-year head coach Doug Pederson, along with Jaguars owner Shad Khan and General Manager Trent Baalke, were all at the NFL Combine this past week. The new league year starts at 4 p.m. on March 16th, which is less than two weeks away. The Jaguars have a lot of work to do. The free agency period begins that day, and the 2022 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Here’s some news and a few notes on the Jaguars.

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Jacksonville Jaguars News and Notes from the NFL Combine Week

Jaguars Re-Sign Tyler Shatley

The Jaguars extended veteran guard Tyler Shatley on Monday. Shatley’s spent his entire career with the Jaguars after they signed him as an undrafted free agent. Shatley’s contract is for two years and $6.8 million with  $2.35 million guaranteed. While not a starter, Shatley is an important piece of the offensive line in Duval. He has started in 18 games in the past two seasons in relief of injured starters. To be sure, there is much work to do. But this signing is a good step, and one that protects Trevor Lawrence.

At Least Nine Players Met With the Jaguars at the Combine

Daniel Griffis of the Jaguars Wire reported that the team met with nine players at the combine this week. Five of them were offensive linemen, and eight of the nine were offensive players.

Evan Neal is a favorite in the mock draft community to land atop the draft board. Frankly, it’s no wonder why. Neal plays left tackle and he’s a mountain of a man, standing at 6’7” and weighing 337 lbs. Neal took a shirtless picture at the combine and was pretty lean for being over 300 lbs. Time will tell if the Jags pick him, but he’s a great prospect.

Other notable prospects are Ikem Ekwonu, George Pickens, and Isaiah Likely. Ekwonu is another contender for the pick at number one. Pickens could be a second-round pick and Likely is probable to be a third or fourth-rounder. The team is doing their homework to fix an offense that was anemic for much of the 2021 season. Lawrence has a lot of promise, but he needs weapons and protection to make the leap.

The Jaguars also met with Kayvon Thibodeaux this past week. The offense may be the direction the Jags go with their first pick, but don’t rule out the defensive end from Oregon. Thibodeaux has 19 sacks in three collegiate seasons and is one of the top two defenders in this year’s draft class.

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson met With Jaguars Today on 1010XL

Pederson met with Mike Dempsey of Jaguars Today to discuss the team.

A notable part of Pederson’s interview was that he hopes to get DJ Chark back. Chark is a free agent and voiced his support. Now, this is no guarantee he’ll sign with the team, but it’s more of an endorsement than some free agents get.

In fact, Baalke spoke to the media this past week as well. He said that changing the culture of Jacksonville will start “by drafting well, developing well, and getting guys into their second contracts.” Perhaps Baalke and Pederson have a plan to re-sign Chark. Realistically, Chark will hit free agency. He will likely get more money on the open market due to his injury history with the Jags. But it’s important to note that the team recognizes they need homegrown talent. They need a culture change. It may not start with Chark, but Pederson is a player’s coach. Players will want to play for Pederson. He’s putting in the work.

Pederson again mentioned patience in his interview, saying it would not be a quick fix. He’s a Super Bowl champion head coach who made the playoffs in three out of five seasons in Philadelphia. Pederson has surrounded Lawrence with a wealth of experience on the offensive side of the coaching staff. The next few months will be the time to surround the franchise quarterback with a wealth of talent for the future.

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