The Jacksonville Jaguars need help at left guard and, while I would prefer they address the need in the draft, the team should also take a look at what’s available in free agency. I very much enjoy the look of Brandon Moore, but he will likely cost far too much for the Jags. Will Rackley is likely not the answer, though he did miss the entire 2012 season, so let’s take a look at who could be the answer starting at 4:00 pm EST when Free Agency begins.
- 2012 Team: New England Patriots
- Why: Thomas got his shot to start for the Patriots after being a backup for most of his career and he ran with it. He started seven games for the Pats in 2012 and allowed just one sack in 616 snaps. The majority of his starts came at left guard though he is could fit either side of the line. Thomas may get some looks as he proved that he worthy of starting money after 2012. He would be an immediate upgrade for the Jags.
- 2012 Team: Minnesota Vikings
- Why: If I’m an NFL general manager, I’m looking at anybody who blocked for Adrian Peterson and trying to snatch him up. Schwartz was a backup with the Vikings but was a 16 game starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2010 at both guard and right tackle. Schwartz is a versatile lineman who may not get many looks during free agency because of his backup status. He didn’t play in all of 2011 so he could come cheap if the Jaguars target him. For the Jags, who have a massive hole at right tackle too, the well-graded Schwartz could be the road-paving guard or right tackle that Maurice Jones-Drew could follow in his comeback season. Schwartz allowed just four sacks in 2010 (1,016 snaps) and played well in spot duty for the Vikings in 2012. He could be the kind of quiet pickup the Jags are looking for.
- 2012 Team: San Diego Chargers
- Why: Green had an up and down year in 2012 but still deserves a look. He had some really good games against the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, and Cleveland Browns, but had some really bad games against the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Jets. Green in streaky but provides a an upgrade for the Jaguars at left guard. His primary deficiency is run blocking, but he did well in pass blocking, allowing just two sacks and 15 hurries in 2012 (756 snaps). Considering that Philip Rivers took 49 sacks in 2012, the Chargers would be smart to try and retain one of their better pass blocking pieces in Green. If the Jaguars are smart, they should try and steal him away because they desperately need help in pass blocking.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims