Blaine Gabbert, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback, is struggling to develop as quickly as the team would prefer, but with new first round selection Luke Joeckel in place in the offensive line he will have a quality player who could keep him off the turf in season three. Joeckel is a great offensive tackle but can he make Gabbert better? It seems that new GM Dave Caldwell is willing to spend his time picking up a solid building block and seeing if Gabbert is worth keeping immediately rather than stringing out the process for season after season.
Joeckel can’t fix Gabbert which means that the Jaguars will be able to evaluate him better this season and see if they want to move on or continue the game of trying to make him “the guy.” I like the Joeckel pick because it really allows the Jaguars to make things easier for the offense. He should make the players around him better, even the wide receivers should benefit from the time he will provide whichever quarterback he is protecting.
The player who may most benefit from Joeckel could be running back Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD doesn’t need a great offensive line to be a great rusher, just look at 2011. That said, with Joeckel in place – likely at right tackle – Jones-Drew will have much bigger holes to run through and the ability to compete again for the rushing title. Joeckel’s strongest part of his game is his pass protection but he promises to be a very good run blocker as well.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims