JACKSONVILLE – Nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Bucky Brooks, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2021 NFL season approaches; today's topic: Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21...
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence. This must happen. The face of the franchise will hopefully make plays that only a few other quarterbacks can make. I won't care as much about his numbers as a rookie, especially his interceptions. His leadership, command and decision-making are more important to me – along with developing chemistry with his offense.
Bucky Brooks, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Running back Travis Etienne Jr. Despite the presence of an established workhorse in running back James Robinson, Etienne could emerge as the most important offensive weapon. The Clemson product displays hybrid potential as a running back/wide receiver, and the Jaguars could tap into his diverse game to create more explosive plays on the perimeter. From outside runs and screens to isolation routes in and out of the backfield, Etienne has the potential to score from anywhere on the field as a runner-receiver with home-run speed.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Duh. But beyond the obvious, I think rookie offensive tackle Walker Little is really intriguing. Really big, really athletic. At the least, I think he will really push — I mean, REALLY push — left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Which makes everyone better. At best, he wins a job. Wouldn't surprise me.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: The Jaguars' Rookie of the Year will be Lawrence, without question. His impact has been felt at every level that he has been. The professional ranks will be no different and the coaching staff will be very smart in how they allocate his skill set in his first year. A close second will be Etienne; he has game-breaking speed and ability to provide easy completions for Lawrence.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: I'd like to think outside the box when it comes to Jaguars Rookie of the Year, but come on … it's Lawrence. He is going to change this team, this franchise and perhaps this city. Lawrence won't do that in Year One, but I expect his first impression to be a really good one. This year is all about Lawrence. He will be a rookie, but don't be surprised if he plays more like a second- or third-year quarterback.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: The obvious choice here is Lawrence, and it's hard to imagine him not being the Jaguars' most productive – and valuable – rookie. Perhaps as intriguing is Etienne, whose likely role seems to continue to be misunderstood by many observers nationally and locally. While he was selected No. 25 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft as a running back, Meyer wanted Etienne because he was a playmaker and a big-play threat who can score from anywhere on the field. That will strain defenses in a way the Jaguars usually couldn't last season. Meyer may be the most valuable Jaguars rookie in 2021, but Etienne's presence could help shape the Jaguars' offense nearly as much in the short term.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Lawrence. He's going to have some tough days, but I expect to also see some good ones. He's the story in 2021 and we won't be talking about how many touchdowns Etienne scores when this season is over with a franchise quarterback to talk about.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Lawrence. Easy answer here. He should change the whole idea of what the Jaguars are as an offense and as an organization. For argument's sake, give me Etienne also. He can score from anywhere on the field, and the Jaguars haven't had that type of legitimate threat in a while.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
Rookie to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Lawrence will be rookie of the year. I know … layup. But how can you pick anyone else? He has shown why he was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft by from the work he has put in on and off the field during offseason programs. He has wowed his coaching staff and has the entire team applauding his leadership and work ethic. There is no reason to believe Lawrence will not lead this rookie class.