football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
Walker Little Jaguars

Jaguars’ Walker Little Facing Make-Or-Break Season In 2023

  • Justin Melo
  • July 19, 2023
  • Share

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Walker Little will receive the biggest opportunity of his young career in 2023. Little has bided his time while awaiting a chance to prove he’s a quality starter. He is now entering a make-or-break campaign.

The No. 45 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Little was Jacksonville’s fourth top-50 selection following Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and Tyson Campbell. The first three have developed into high-level starters. The next pick was Andre Cisco, who’s a mainstay at safety. The 2021 class officially marked a turning point for the Jaguars franchise, and Little has the potential to turn it into an even more impressive group.

Little has spent the previous two seasons backing up Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor. In 2022, Little played 234 offensive snaps, the majority of which came at left tackle after Robinson suffered a season-ending injury. Little was a steady performer, allowing just 1.0 sack and 13 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Little helped the Jaguars absorb the blow of Robinson’s absence.

This offseason has welcomed an abundance of change for the Jaguars up front, both anticipated and unforeseen. Taylor signed a lucrative contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. Little initially appeared primed to replace Taylor at right tackle. 

Robinson was then suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy, throwing Doug Pederson’s plans into a blender. The Jaguars responded by drafting former Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison with the No. 27 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Harrison primarily played left tackle at Oklahoma, but the Jaguars are planning on playing him at right tackle. This will allow Little to replace Robinson on Lawrence’s blindside. It’s the position Little is most familiar with dating back to his days at Stanford.

How the Jaguars treat Robinson’s return is worth monitoring. Robinson has been a mainstay at left tackle as one of the top-performing players at his position. Once Robinson is eligible to return from suspension, he’s expected to reclaim his starting gig at left tackle with Little kicking out to right tackle, sending Harrison to a swing-tackle role.

Little’s impending stint on the left could be an audition. The Jaguars could save approximately $17.75 million against the 2024 cap by releasing Robinson next offseason, via Spotrac. General manager Trent Baalke will require cap space to sign his ascending talents to extensions. Robinson is a key piece, but Little and Harrison offer low-cost, in-house solutions.

Starting opportunities have been rare for Little, but he’s answered the bell when inserted into the lineup. In a Week 18 start against the Tennessee Titans, Little didn’t allow a single sack or quarterback hit en route to earning a season-best pass-blocking grade of 80.8 from PFF. Little’s near-perfect performance helped his Jaguars claim the AFC South division title.

Little’s moment in Jacksonville has finally arrived, although his long-term position remains to be determined. Little possesses every trait necessary to develop into a high-end starter—he can’t squander this opportunity. It’s now-or-never for Little to solidify himself as an every-year starter.

Written By

Justin Melo