Jacksonville Jaguars: Center position battle hopefully done early


The Jacksonville Jaguars have training camp battles going on all over the place. From defensive end to left guard to center, the Jags have a host of comparable talent trying to establish an edge during camp to get the nod as the starter heading into Week 1.

One of the more important battles is between second-year player Luke Bowanko and four-year veteran Stefen Wisniewski at center. Bowanko was the starting center last season, despite coming to the Jaguars as a sixth round pick that year. Wisniewski is a former second-rounder with four years of starting experience under his belt.

This may sound like a mismatch already, but we’ll add one more piece here: Wisniewski was brought in by new offensive coordinator Greg Olson because he already knows the system. If that doesn’t make this almost an unfair position battle, then I don’t know what would.

Based purely on ability, though, I would argue that this is a much closer battle than it looks on paper. Bowanko doesn’t have the experience that Wisniewski has, but he is a gifted center. He’ll take time to get into the new offensive system and he’ll still make some mistakes, but he may have a higher ceiling than Wisniewski. Wisniewski’s experience and football smarts shouldn’t be undervalued, of course, and it makes him a more complete player at this time which may be critical as the Jacksonville Jaguars hope to finally put some wins together.

These two guys have a while yet to prove their worth, with head coach Gus Bradley hopeful he can name a starter by the third preseason game.

Installing a new offensive system is something every NFL player goes through at some point. It takes time to grasp and it takes time to implement effectively. If the Jaguars are hoping to name a starter by the third preseason game, then I would expect Wisniewski to edge out Bowanko. Anything could happen during those first couple game situations, though, so keep your eye on Bowanko to see how he handles the competition.

Next: Training camp roster predictions at safety

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