Will Sam Young Be Better Than Austin Pasztor at RT?


Sam Young has been handed the start at right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ game agains the Houston Texans on Sunday. For the backup tackle, it’s a great opportunity to highlight his skills and prove he should have the job to finish the season and challenge starter Austin Pasztor for the job next season as well. Pasztor is out for the rest of the season due to injury.

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Pasztor has not played very well so far this season, but he has provided some much needed stability to an offensive line that has been patchwork at best. The Jaguars only have one stalwart blocker on their line currently; rookie guard Brandon Linder has been outplaying his draft position and setting a good example for the rest of the guys.

Young will come in for his third start of the season and his first action since week four of the 2014 season. He started in weeks three and four at right tackle as well, following the release of former starter Cameron Bradfield due to poor play.

Honestly, I view this as a situation in which the Jaguars can only reap positives. Pasztor has been underwhelming so far this season and Young offers greater upside. He has significant experience in the NFL as a four year veteran and he’s been proven to be a plug-and-play type guy for the Jaguars so far this season. Even if Young does slip up, the Jaguars have young Josh Wells waiting in the wings to possibly insert as well.

It’s important for the Jaguars to evaluate every player they have on the offensive line, especially as they work toward finding the right group of guys to protect Blake Bortles as he develops. This year the young signal caller wasn’t supposed to be back there taking 30+ sacks. The coaching staff likely wishes they could have waited to start him still until they had at least one more foundation piece in the lineup. Luke Joeckel is still developing at left tackle, there is no answer at center, Zane Beadles is underperforming at guard, and right tackle hasn’t been particularly strong all year.

Young will have to contend with J.J. Watt often on Sunday, which may prove a difficult task for him. If he can perform well against one of the best in the business, the Jaguars could wind up in good shape until the end of the year.

Maybe Sam Young makes himself a part of the future. Maybe he doesn’t. Either way, having him start on Sunday will make things better for the Jaguars.