All eyes were on Calvin Ridley when the Jaguars opened their 2023 season Sunday, and the former Falcons star delivered, leading the team with eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 win over the Colts. But one of Ridley's fellow wide receivers may have confirmed himself as Trevor Lawrence's most reliable target, in seventh-year veteran Zay Jones.
Ridley brings a new dynamic to Jacksonville's receiving corps, and already his Christian Kirk remains a notable name as well, coming off his own 1,100-yard debut in town. But it was Jones, listed third on the team's WR depth chart, who paced all of the club's pass catchers in offensive snaps against the Colts.seems feasible. Fellow starter
With five catches on seven targets, including an acrobatic 18-yard touchdown, Jones also finished just behind Ridley as the Jags' most productive outlet for Lawrence. What's more, his connection with the young quarterback has been strong dating back to early in the 2022 campaign, Lawrence's first under coach Doug Pederson.
Jones quietly finished 2022, his first in Jacksonville, with a career-high 82 catches for 823 yards and five TDs. Eight of his 15 starts included at least eight targets, and that doesn't include the playoffs, where the former Bills and Raiders veteran outproduced even Kirk against the Chargers and Chiefs. With 13 catches on 20 targets (65%) for 157 yards and a score, Jones was the most efficient WR at Lawrence's disposal when it counted most, and that trend continued in Week 1's win over Indy.
None of this means Jones will surpass Ridley as the Jags' No. 1 wideout. After securing just one catch for nine yards against the Colts, Kirk also figures to see an uptick in action as the season wears on. But don't be surprised if, on key downs in key games, Lawrence is first looking in the direction of No. 7, who's spent the last year emerging as a trusted member of an ascending offense.