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The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock. Man, does it feel good to say that!
There’s plenty of work that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke need to get done in order to compete for a divisional trophy with its current roster. While the needs vary from quarterback to defensive back, there are still other position groups that could use upgrading, at least in the long term.
Oftentimes teams will wait until the last second to fill a need they knew would be an issue in the not-so-distant future. The Jaguars are in a similar boat this season in regards to its offensive line situation.
While the current starting five will do nicely for incoming rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and starting running back James Robinson, the future of the line is questionable.
Currently, the Jaguars are slated to start all five players from last season that started the season, including Cam Robinson (left tackle), Andrew Norwell (left guard), Brandon Linder (center), A.J. Cann (right guard) and Jawaan Taylor (right tackle).
Meyer has already come out in support of the team’s interior offensive line during this offseason, and likes the entirety of the line in general, opting to franchise tag its left tackle in Robinson.
“I made a comment a couple weeks ago that I think the offensive line [is solid], when you watch the Jaguars play, especially the interior line, the two tackles are going to get better,” Meyer said in March. “They’re young players. That’s an area that has got to play better than it did a year ago, but I think we all know they can in another year together. So, the offensive line, we expect them to play better, but we think there are some pretty good pieces in place.”
Improvement must be made on the offensive line, particularly at the tackle position. With Robinson on a one-year deal, it could behoove the team to look towards this year’s draft for a potential replacement, if they deem that necessary.
However, the team may want to do that regardless, at any spot on its offensive line. While Meyer loves Norwell at left guard, the team recently re-structured his contract to become a one-year deal, making him set to hit free agency following this season. Cann, one of the team’s longest-tenured players, is set to hit free agency following this season, too.
Linder, the team’s long-time starting center, is set to become a free agent following the 2022 season, and he has zero dead money left, making a parting-of-ways simple.
The Jaguars will have an opportunity–if they choose–to address the future of its offensive line during the 2021 NFL Draft in just a few weeks. With the offensive tackle class loaded with talent, perhaps they ought to take one sooner rather than later.