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: the veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21…
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Left tackle Cam Robinson. Many were surprised Jacksonville put the franchise tag on him, and he must show he was worth it. Rookie second-round selection Walker Little appears to be the future; will it be at left tackle? How long will the leash be for Robinson if he isn't playing well? With a great year, Robinson can get a huge contract either here or elsewhere. If not, who knows what will happen?
Bucky Brooks, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Edge defender Josh Allen. The one-time Pro Bowler must play at an elite level for this defense to close ground on the Jaguars' division rivals. Allen is a legitimate 10-plus sack producer with "take-over-the-game" potential whenever he puts his hand in the dirt. On a defense that wants to heat up the quarterback with various blitzes and situational pressures, No. 41 must be a dominant player for the Jaguars to win.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. There is so much in there, but he was just OK a year ago. Reports are he is bigger and stronger this year, that he really has taken to Head Coach Urban Meyer, to gaining strength – and that he will be renewed with rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the new offense. This will be fun to watch.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Left tackle Cam Robinson. He is playing under the one-year franchise tag, and I really like his mindset when it comes to football – but he must improve some of the fundamentals and footwork of playing left tackle. If he falters in any way, there is a young rookie in Little waiting in the wings that I believe is a cornerstone tackle.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: The Jaguars veteran I'm keeping an eye on will be Cam Robinson. Aren't we all? The Jaguars gave him the franchise tag and drafted tackle Walker Little. Is Robinson going to play his way into a big contract or will this be it in a Jaguars uniform for the tackle out of Alabama? I think Robinson is going to deliver big time for the Jags.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Allen. The No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Allen is entering his third NFL season – and for the talented Allen, that could be a critical season. After setting a Jaguars rookie record with 10.5 sacks as a rookie in 2019, he played just eight games in 2020 and registered just 2.5 sacks – with the end result that '20 for Allen felt like something of a lost season. Allen has potential to be a franchise core player and to be one of the NFLs top edge defenders. He flashed that potential with a Pro Bowl rookie season. The Jaguars need him to do more than flash in 2021. They need him to be the best player on defense and a player for whom offenses must game plan each week.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Defensive tackle Malcom Brown. The Jaguars traded for Brown in March to be the anchor of their new 3-4 front. The former first-round selection looks exactly like a nose tackle should and has been a leader for defensive coordinator Joe Cullen since he arrived. He's the key. If he can create a train wreck in the middle of the line, the Jaguars' defense can take a big step forward in 2021. They haven't stopped the run since Marcell Dareus was injured in Cincinnati in 2019.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Chark. If all these additions and weapons are all over the offense, maybe it opens it up for Chark a little more. He has done his part this offseason by adding muscle mass after a challenge from Meyer. Look for a Pro Bowl season from Chark.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
Veteran to watch for the Jaguars in '21: Defensive end Jihad Ward. He is the guy who is always bringing the mood up on the defensive line and it is clear he is one of the leaders on that unit. This was a splash signing in free agency in my opinion; it will take some pressure off Allen and allow the defensive line to be much more threatening. Options are always a good thing and Ward brings some versatility to the defensive line.