Now that the NFL offseason is coming towards the actual NFL season and practice on the field, we can start analyzing the roster and exploring what they have at the positions and if anything else will need to be done at the positions. The first group we're going to look at is the offensive line, since outside of quarterback, it's been the most discussed position group among fans and analysts.
Who do the Jaguars have
One of the areas many fans expected the Jacksonville Jaguars to invest heavily in was the offensive line. The pass protection was good enough during the 2016 season, as the number of sacks allowed and pressures were almost cut in half, but the run game was atrocious. It was a little chicken or egg in the run game, was it the offensive line or the running backs that were the issue?
It's always easier to just keep investing in the offensive line though, so many expected the team would do that. The first move the team made was trading a 2018 seventh-round draft pick for veteran left tackle Branden Albert who should slot right in as the Jaguars new left tackle, replacing Kelvin Beachum.
Fast forward through free agency and the only moves the Jaguars made was re-signing Patrick Omameh and bringing in Earl Watford, who many view as versatile depth. There were no big money signings despite the fact the team had tons of cap room and there were a number of talented interior offensive lineman. The team also traded up in the second round to pick Cam Robinson in 2017 NFL Draft, but outside of undrafted rookie guard Avery Gennessy, that was it. The only new bodies brought in to a group much maligned by the fans were Albert, Watford, Robinson and Gennessy.
How much are the Jaguars spending
(via Spotrac, not including Cam Robinson because he is not signed at time of writing)
Unsurprisingly, the Jaguars are spending below league average on their offensive line, but they also have multiple players still on their rookie contracts and the only real high priced free agent they have is Jermey Parnell.
Projected Jaguars starting offensive line
LEFT TACKLE, Branden Albert: I know all the talk is about how Cam Robinson right now is the starting left tackle and he will be able to compete with Albert. In my personal opinion, this is just lip service and a message to Albert that if he wants to sit out, the Jaguars will be fine without him because they drafted his replacement. When push comes to shove however, I believe Albert will report once practices are mandatory and he will be the opening day left tackle.
LEFT GUARD, Cam Robinson: As mentioned above, I think the talk about Robinson playing left tackle as a rookie is just talk. I believe he will be the opening day starter at left guard during his rookie season and will be the future left tackle as early as 2018. If the goal is to get the best five offensive lineman on the field, you fit both Robinson and Albert on the field.
CENTER, Brandon Linder: Not much needs to be said here. Linder will likely be in line for a contract extension if he just continues what he's done when healthy. He's a reliable steady player who shouldn't be someone the team worries about.
RIGHT GUARD, AJ Cann: Despite what some say, the team still believes in Cann and think that he will rebound from a down season in 2016 to be a reliable guard. It's unlikely he looses his grip on the starting job unless he's just downright atrocious in the preseason, because the team needs to make sure Cann isn't the guy at the position so they can move on.
RIGHT TACKLE, Jermey Parnell: Parnell has been up and down since the Jaguars paid him in free agency, but new head coach Doug Marrone has talked him up specifically multiple times dating back to the end of the season when he took over as interim head coach. There's some belief that Parnell played through and with injuries last season, but it's his put up or shut up year, as the team can dump his contract if he continues to be an inconsistent player in both the run and pass game.