Heading into training camp, the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line has a chance to go from a big weakness to an actual position group of strength, given the potential depth they have on the line.
The team will be returning a few players, such as Brandon Linder and Luke Joeckel, both of which have room to improve, Joeckel more so.
So the big question is: What will the starting five look like?
I don’t think there’s as much variance on the starting lineup as people think, but for me Luke Joeckel is locked in at left tackle, Brandon Linder is locked in at right guard and new free agent signing Jermey Parnell is locked in at right tackle. Joeckel is going to get the benefit of the doubt and there’s not really another left tackle on the roster that can push him out, yet.
That leaves the left guard and center positions up for grabs. The left guard position is one that most seem to think will automatically be lost by last year’s big money free agent Zane Beadles, but I’m not so sure. While Beadles did have a disappointing season, given the contract he was handed, I think his play has been drastically overstated in the negative. I still feel like there’s a lot of work to be done for him to be dethroned, but if someone is going to do it my guess would be Austin Pasztor, not rookie A.J. Cann.
At the center position you have second year player Luke Bowanko who did an admirable job as a rookie last season thrown into the fire. There wasn’t much fanfare when he was picked in the draft and most assumed he’d be a swing interior lineman backup, but there was a noticeable different when Bowanko entered the starting lineup, for the good.
Stefen Wisniewski was a good late offseason addition for the Jaguars on a one-year deal and it’s quite possible he beats out Bowanko, but he’s recovering from offseason surgery and I’d expect Bowanko to be improved with a real NFL offseason under his belt.
In my opinion though, so matter who wins the starting nod for those two spots, the Jaguars should be in OK shape. The biggest glaring weakness right now is still at the left tackle spot, but is Joeckel can just be a consistently average left tackle, the line will be just fine.
So for me, the starting lineup is going to look like this:
JOECKEL – BEADLES – BOWANKO – LINDER – PARNELL
What do you think? Any changes you'd make to this offensive line?