The Jacksonville Jaguars had a tough time scoring points last year, averaging a paltry 15.6 points per game, worst in the NFL. A majority of the incompetence could be directly attributed to one thing – youth. Even before passing over the reigns on offense to rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, the Jaguars were trotting out three rookie wide receivers, a rookie right guard, a rookie center, a 2nd year left tackle, and a 2nd year running back. The inexperience on offense played a major part in why the Jaguars just couldn’t put together multiple scoring drives. It wasn’t just anecdotal either – the Jaguars had one of the youngest offenses ever according to Football Outsiders.
The fellas over at Football Perspective have already started to look at the ages of rosters post-draft, and the Jaguars once again have the youngest offense in the NFL by a sizeable margin:
"To use a technical term, the Jaguars offense is stupid young. As of September 1, 2015, Blake Bortles was 22.7 years old, while the offensive line consisted of four youngsters (LT Luke Joeckel was 22.8, rookie C Luke Bowanko was 23.2, rookie RG Brandon Linder was 22.6, guard and RT Austin Pasztor was 23.8) and left guard Zane Beadles (27.8). All of those players should again be starters in 2015, although ex-Cowboy Jermey Parnell (29 in July) will likely start at right tackle.Youth was also prevalent at the skill positions. Three of the team’s four leaders in yards from scrimmage were Denard Robinson (23.9),Allen Hurns (22.8), and Allen Robinson (21.0), while Marqise Lee (22.8) is also an emerging talent. This is an incredibly young offense with the exception of Beadles and the new additions this year, Parnell and ex-Bronco Julius Thomas (27 in June). When your old guys are still under 30, you’re a young offense."
The Jaguars could potentially get even younger on offense, with rookies T.J. Yeldon and A.J. Cann possibly starting come week 1 at running back and left guard respectively. Unless Denard Robinson has a monstrous offseason, there’s no reason to think Yeldon won’t start, and Cann should be able to push veteran Zane Beadles after his disappointing first year with the Jaguars.
The development of these young players is going to be the most critical part of seeing the Jaguars take a big leap this season. The talent appears to be there, so now it’s up to the coaching staff to develop these guys into consistent NFL contributors.
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