A.J. Cann is coming to compete at guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a bit of a surprise pick at third overall, shocking Jags fans who expected the team to go after a wide receiver. It appears that the Jags are happy with their wide receiver group, though, so bringing in Cann to provide depth along the interior offensive line and compete at left guard was a move they felt they should make.
But just because the front office feels good about it doesn’t mean that we Jaguars fans have to feel good about it. Co-editor Daniel Lago and I came together to grade this pick way too early, just like we’ve been doing with every Jaguars selection in the 2015 NFL Draft so far. Here are our takes.
The Jaguars must have had a very high grade on Cann, because they passed up a couple of enticing receiver prospects in Jaelen Strong and Tyler Lockett to take the guard out of South Carolina. The Jaguars added depth to the interior offensive line this offseason when they signed Stefan Wisniewski in free agency, but it appears they want to add another young body to compete for a starting job. To me, this means the Jaguars aren’t thrilled with the prospect of Zane Beadles at left guard for another 2 years.
Honestly, I don’t know too much about Cann. If he comes in and wins the starting job from a veteran like Beadles right away, then this is a home run pick. If he sits for a while and becomes a long term starter after this year, then it’s a solid pick. I won’t complain too much because protecting Blake Bortles is obviously of utmost importance, but there were 5 or 6 players I was more excited about still on the board.
I love this pick. It’s no secret I love offensive linemen and I especially love big, strong interior guards. They set the tone of the game and will help provide stability for the offensive line. The Jags desperately needed an improvement along the offensive line and Cann brings versatility to the interior positions both as depth and as competition to motivate left guard Zane Beadles who didn’t perform up to GM Dave Caldwell’s expectations last season.
To quote from an unnamed NFL offensive line coach: “Nothing about him gets you really excited and nothing about him gets you really down. He’s just a steady player and will probably be a 9 or 10 year starter. I’ll take that.” The Jags already have an inspiring guard in Brandon Linder, so bringing in another guy who can be steady presence and has the athleticism to offer some upside is huge. Nine to ten years starting on the offensive line is exactly what every NFL coach dreams of from their big guys up front. That’s a decade of stability for the Jaguars and I believe that Cann can provide that. Right now it’s exactly what they need and he makes the whole offense better as a results.
What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments and in the poll below!
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