Dec 22, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA;Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Austin Pasztor (67) against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at EverBank Field. Tennessee Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
With free agency on the horizon, it is as good a time as any to take an in-depth look at the performance of each position group on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. As a standard metric to start the conversation, Pro Football Focus grades were used to get an initial look at how each player fared in the 2013 regular season. Specific information about how Pro Football Focus comes up with their grades is available in their FAQ.
Today we take a look what seemed to be a position of strength going into the season – offensive tackle. Eugene Monroe was going into a contract year and looked poised to cement himself as the left tackle of the future. The plan appeared to be to pair Monroe with the second overall pick in the draft, Luke Joeckel, on the right side to establish the bookends of the offensive line. That all spiraled down the drain when David Caldwell traded Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens, followed by Luke Joeckel going on injured reserve after his first start at left tackle. Here’s how the patchwork tackle group fared in 2013.
|125 (out of 128)
|112 (out of 128)
|106 (out of 128)
|98 (out of 128)
Unsurprisingly, Eugene Monroe was the best of the bunch before he got traded. Monroe is a veteran who improved steadily every year in the league and was serviceable at left tackle. He probably wasn’t going to be resigned in free agency, so it’s nice that Caldwell got a little bit of value for him in the trade market.
Luke Joeckel was starting to get a handle on the right side of the line before moving back over to left tackle. He was playing very well in St. Louis against Robert Quinn at left tackle before getting hurt, and expectations should be relatively high for him in his second season.
Cameron Bradfield came in as the 3rd option at left tackle and I don’t think he was quite as awful as his grade indicates. He’s obviously not starter-quality, but he has some value as a swing tackle and still has room to develop with his big frame. His partner on the right side was Austin Pasztor, and he actually might have a future starting on the right side. Pasztor has that mauler attitude you want in a right tackle, and he improved noticeably from his first game to the end of the season. The Jaguars should look to add depth at the tackle position rather than a starter in the draft or free agency.
2013 Position Grade, Offensive Tackle – C-
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89