The Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line has given up 50 sacks in the first 12 games of the season and could be on the way to giving up a franchise record number of sacks by seasons end. It's been a roller coaster on the line, not often being one specific thing that's the issue and sometimes it's not even the offensive line as the culprit.
On Sunday in the Jaguars win against the New York Giants, the offensive line was an issue and gave up a total of seven sacks on the day, but it wasn't all on the offensive line. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles could have gotten the ball away on a few of them and running back Denard Robinson was directly responsible for at least two. Luke Joeckel got whipped a few times, but according to Pro Football Focus was only credited with giving up a single sack.
The offensive line needs to play better without question, but a lot of fans have started banging the drum for the team to upgrade the line in the offseason. But when you look at how things are setup, it's not really all that easy to bring someone in, plug them in and get instant improvement.
This is one of those dumb "patience" things.
For instance, Luke Joeckel is going to be here and he will very likely be your starting left tackle in 2015. He hasn't played nearly as poorly as people make it out to be, but he has been a disappointment and is wildly inconsistent. He had a rough game against the Giants on Sunday, so now he is going to be terrible forever.
On the interior, despite the insane narrative that he sucks, Zane Beadles has been the Jaguars second best offensive lineman this season. He had a tough first few weeks of the season, but since has for the most part been very good. Next to him is rookie center Luke Bowanko who's been good for a rookie, but it's clear he could use an offseason in an NFL strength program. At right guard is Brandon Linder who's playing at arguably a Pro Bowl level. These three are likely entrenched as starters for next season. It's possible Bowanko could be upgraded if there's an instant upgrade out there, but I find that unlikely.
Then at right tackle you have Austin Pasztor who was very good last season, but injuries this year have kind of derailed him and now he's on injured reserve. He missed the first four games, struggled settling in and then had a nice four game stretch before rupturing his hamstring and landing on IR. He's an exclusive rights free agent in the offseason, so the Jaguars can bring him back for very cheap and I'd be surprised if they didn't. At worst, Pasztor can be a swing backup right guard/tackle for you. The team also has Josh Wells and Sam Young as depth, who have been at worst serviceable when they've gotten on the field.
Some think the Jaguars will upgrade the position in free agency, but unless you're going to pay Bryan Bulaga, there isn't much on the free agent horizon. You could spend another high pick (day 2) on a right tackle, but then you're going to rookie route and it's not likely they'll be an instant upgrade and you're right back to where you are now with a guy learning the NFL game.
The Jaguars have talent on the offensive line, the problem is the majority of them are still learning the NFL game, like most of the offensive roster.
So how do you fix the Jaguars offensive line?