The Jacksonville Jaguars have come a long way since their 2-14 apocalyptic season in 2012. General manager Gene Smith hoodwinked new owner Shad Khan and the Jaguars fanbase into thinking they were on the brink of competing for a playoff spot, when in reality they were probably the worst team in the NFL. Smith whiffed on multiple first round picks, including quarterback Blaine Gabbert who cost an additional 2nd round pick, and consequently the roster was a complete dumpster fire.
It goes without saying that it’s hard to build depth on a roster when you miss on first round picks, and the Jaguars are still currently playing the price for Gene Smith’s incompetence. Despite some significant improvements via free agency and the draft, the Jaguars still lack depth at multiple positions on the roster.
Charlie Bernstein over at Scout.com quickly ran through the 53-man roster and made note of the depth issues.
The one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is despite having a pretty strong showing during preseason, the Jaguars are still a major work in progress. Again, not a surprise when you consider where the team was when former GM Gene Smith left the roster in ruins with his poor drafting, signings and contracts with a greater eye on fooling the owner to keep his job.
Going through all the position groups, offensive line seems to be the most concerning. The Jaguars don’t even really have the starting lineup settled, so it’s not a shock that the depth there isn’t encouraging.
The team’s offensive line will be an area of concern all season. It appears that the starters will be Luke Joeckel, Zane Beadles, Jacques McClendon, Brandon Linder and Austin Pasztor, with Cameron Bradfield filling in for the injured Pasztor. Sam Young,Tyler Shatley and Josh Wells will be backups but some of those names could change with waivers.
The Jaguars are considerably deeper on defense thanks to the 2013 draft, which netted them a handful of solid players in the secondary, but they have to be concerned if there are any injuries in the linebacking corp. Outside of Paul Posluszny and Geno Hayes, there is very little experience among the remaining guys.
Even with some of the concerns about depth, it’s hard not to get excited about the improvements on the roster. And it appears the Jaguars may have already improved the most important position – quarterback. It’s only a matter of time before those roster improvements translate to wins on the field.