The Jacksonville Jaguars are a few weeks away from the start of Doug Pederson’s first training camp at the helm, giving us plenty of time to take a look at each of the team’s position groups ahead of the 2022 season.
Jacksonville wasn’t afraid to make a number of big moves on both sides of the ball this offseason, both through free agency and the draft. They now have a new-look roster that contrasts greatly with the roster we saw the team play in Week 1 of 2021.
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Related: Jaguars training camp preview: Cornerback
Next up: special teams. How does it look today, what changes did the Jaguars make and what needs to be decided before camp?
The depth chart
P: Logan Cook
Age/Experience: 26/fifth season
Statistics for 2021:
- 26 fair catches
- 44.3 net avg
- 47.3 yards per punt
- 42.9% touchback percentage
Logan Cook had an incredible 2021 season. His 44.3 average trailed only Bryan Anger of the Dallas Cowboys, and he recorded a career-low 42.9 percent touchdown rate, including 28 punts inside the 20-yard line. Cook was the only Jaguars player to earn All-Pro votes in 2021 and was fourth in the league at the punter position despite the Jaguars’ lack of team success. Cook should enter training camp as the only punter on the roster, and he could lose the starting spot.
K: Ryan Santoso
Age/Experience: 26/Second Season
Statistics for 2021:
- 4-5 for play by play (80%)
- 6-8 on extra point opportunities (75%)
- 64.3 punt yardage average
- 12 touchbacks
Santoso spent the 2021 season rotating between teams, starting with the New York Giants, who named him to their practice squad for the 2020 season. He was then traded to the Carolina Panthers in August, appearing in one game for the club, where he scored 2-2 on field goal attempts and hit 1-2 extra point opportunities. Santoso was drafted in September and the Tennessee Titans claimed him on their practice squad. The Detroit Lions quickly snapped him up in their quest to find an answer at the position, but Santoso appeared in just 3 games where he converted 2 of 3 field goal attempts and 5 of 6 extra point opportunities. After his brief stint in Detroit, Santoso finished the 2021 season on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad before Jacksonville signed him to a one-year contract. Santoso plans to compete with 2022 undrafted free agent Andrew Mewis for the starting job in training camp.
K Andrew Mevis
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Age/Experience: 22/first season
2021 Statistics (College):
- 100% on extra point opportunities (32-32)
- 20-23 field goals scored (87%)
- 25 punts (40.6 yds per punt)
A 2021 Third Team All-American and Honorable Mention All-Big 12, Andrew Mewis put the stamp on a memorable college career. His 2021 season at Iowa State saw him tie the most field goals scored in a season in Cyclones history (20) and consecutive field goals (15). Mevis was also the first Cyclones player since 2001 to handle all of the punting duties, as he was also the team’s primary punter, averaging 40.6 yards per punt on 25 attempts. Mavis plans to compete for the starting job with journeyman Ryan Santoso entering training camp.
KR/PR Jamal Agnew
Age/Experience: 27/sixth season
2021 Stats (Special Teams):
- 11 punt returns for 74 yards (6.7 avg.)
- 22 punt returns for 525 yards (23.9 avg.)
- 1 kickoff return for a touchdown
Jamal Agnew is absolutely electric as a return man. The speedy wideout put together some of the best moments of the 2021 season for the Jaguars, when he returned a kickoff 102 yards to the house against the Denver Broncos and another touchdown after a missed field goal attempt against the Buccaneers for a whopping 109 yards. Agnew plans to keep a good portion of the photos from these positions heading into the fall. Chris Claybrooks is a name to keep an eye on at punt return as well, but the majority of opportunities go Agnew’s way barring an injury or a sharp decline in play. Leviska Shenault is another name to keep an eye on for punt returner snaps.
KR/PR Chris Claybrooks
Age/Experience: 24/third season
2021 Stats (Special Teams):
- 5 kickoff returns for 88 yards (17.6 avg.)
- 2 returns of 20+ yards
A valuable special teams contributor and backup cornerback, Chris Claybrooks appeared in 16 games last season, recording 5 kickoff returns, two of which were over 20 yards. The 2020 seventh-rounder was a tight end in Memphis’ punting unit and served as their primary kickoff returner. Expect Claybrooks to once again compete for a spot on special teams heading into training camp, and for him to potentially replace Agnew for punts as the kickoff returner.
LS Ross Matyszczyk
Age/Experience: 25/third season
Statistics for 2021:
- 2 combined defensive tackles
- Participated in all 17 games
Ross Matyszczyk, a 2020 UDFA from Baylor University, appeared in all 17 games last season for the Jags as the primary shortstop. Given that the Jags didn’t opt to bring in competition at the position this offseason, it appears that Matyszczyk’s job is safe heading into training camp. Finding a reliable long snapper is a difficult task, but the Jags found a good one in Matiscik.
How the room has changed this offseason
Despite all the offseason signings and drastic personnel changes, the special teams department retained some core pieces from last season’s team. Agnew, Matiscik and Cooke are expected to reprise their roles, with the only change coming at the kicker position. As a unit last season, the Jags finished 24th and struggled in special teams coverage, allowing three touchdowns to running back Tyler Nettuno of Jags Wire. This unit is in desperate need of improvement and felt like it lacked an identity last season under the guise of Urban Meyer. All eyes will be on them heading into training camp and new head coach Doug Pederson’s plans to get the most out of the team through the 2022 campaign.
The biggest story surrounding the group since the offseason
Who will win the kicker battle? There’s no doubt that the Jaguars have one of the best punters in the league in Logan Cooke and a dynamic return man in Jamal Agnew, but the kicking situation last season left a lot to be desired. Veteran Josh Lambeau was the primary option early in the 2021 campaign, but he quickly fizzled after missing three early field goals and two extra points. The Jags then signed Matthew Wright, who was useful but also missed three kicks and two extra points of his own.
Wright had a strong finish to the season, but never showed signs of being the future at the position. As training camp looms over the horizon, journeyman Ryan Santoso and rookie Andrew Mevis are slated to battle for the open spot. Are they the long-term answer? Will the Jags add another veteran to the contending group? Duval County’s kicking situation remains uncertain, and training camp will be the first real test to see if Santoso and Mevis are the guys to improve the performance of the kicking unit heading into the 2022 season.