Nov 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (93) against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Starters

 

Dec 11, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (75) during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Khaled Elsayed at Pro Football Focus has spent the summer breaking down the projected starting lineups of every team and classifying each player as a type. The categories range from elite (blue chip) to poor in addition to having a category for rookies.

As one would expect, the Jaguars have no projected elite starters. Eugene Monroe, who was classified as “high quality” with Maurice Jones-Drew, is the only player who was probably even in consideration for elite. Monroe ended up ranked as the 15th best tackle in football last year according to PFF and the 10th best left tackle. Better performances from the rest of the offense will help increase Monroe’s grade next year.

The Jaguars first three draft choices this year – Luke Joeckel, Johnathan Cyprien, and Dwayne Gratz – are all projected to start. Let’s take a look at the 2012 PFF grades of the players these rookies are replacing:

  • Right tackle – Cameron Bradfield (-5.7) and Guy Whimper (-14.6)
  • Strong safety – Dawan Landry (-4.2)
  • Right cornerback – Rashean Mathis (-3.6) and Aaron Ross (-6.2)

The improvement at right tackle is going to be staggering even if Joeckel plays mediocre. Cyprien has looked like a man amongst boys in the mini-camps and has the range and instincts to make an immediate impact on defense. Gratz will probably be targeted early and often at the beginning of the year, but his build and skillset lends itself well to Gus Bradley’s scheme.

Khaled has 8 of the Jaguars’ starters listed under “below average,” but there needs to be more context surrounding each categorization. Roy Miller graded out as “below average” in 2012 (-5.0), but he wasn’t asked to do much aside from eating up blocks in Tampa Bay’s defense. He won’t provide much of a pass rush but he’s not supposed to.

While Austin Pasztor is slated at left guard, it’s much more likely we’ll see a healthy Will Rackley playing guard. Similarly, judgment on Tyson Alualu should be reserved until we see how he performs at his new position.

Nonetheless, the Jaguars have a starting lineup that’s bereft of high quality players and loaded with mediocre to below-average talent across the board. One highlight is the Jaguars don’t have any players classified as “poor,” a categorization that could have been used often with some of last year’s players.

 

-Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

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Tags: Dwayne Gratz Eugene Monrioe Jacksonville Jaguars Johnathan Cyprien Luke Joeckel

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