The Jaguars spent a lot of money to upgrade the offensive line this offseason, but they quietly had a good year pass blocking for Blake Bortles in 2017.
While most of the focus was on the defense in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars put together a pretty solid season on offense. Statistically, they had the number 5 scoring offense by points and the number 6 offense by yards.
A big part of that was the play of the offensive line, which excelled at pass blocking more than run blocking despite perception.
Mark Chichester over at Pro Football Focus used the aforementioned website’s advanced metrics to rank all the offensive lines in the NFL by their pass blocking efficiency in 2017. The Jaguars came in as a top 12 unit, which might be low considering their sack totals.
"11. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2017 pass-blocking efficiency: 79.9Best individual PBE: Brandon Linder, 99.3The Jaguars offensive line may rank 11th in overall pass-blocking efficiency from a season ago, but they were exceptional at preventing sacks last year. They surrendered 31 hits, 111 hurries but incredibly just nine sacks, which tied them with the Los Angeles Chargers for fewest sacks surrendered among offensive lines. Center Brandon Linder ended the year ranked second among centers with a PBE of 99.3 and did not allow a sack over 444 pass-block snaps. Right tackle Jeremy Parnell closed out the season as the only tackle in the NFL to play more than 400 pass-block snaps without allowing a sack. By adding guard Andrew Norwell in free agency, the Jaguars look even stronger going into 2018 as Norwell finished as the only offensive lineman in the NFL to log at least 500 pass-block snaps without allowing either a sack or a quarterback hit a season ago."
The Jaguars probably only had one true “stud” along the offensive line last year in Brandon Linder, but they got solid to sometimes great play from right tackle Jermey Parnell. The two weak links last year were right guard and left guard.
Patrick Omameh was acceptable for most of the season, but the immense upgraded that should be provided by Andrew Norwell should help align the run blocking to the same heights as the pass blocking.
PFF absolutely hated Cam Robinson last year, and he did struggled at times. That being said, he certainly showed enough to believe he can improve and become a good starting left tackle in the NFL. He held his own against some high-end edge rushers, but inconsistency week to week and drive to drive hurt his overall grade.
Blake Bortles had the best year of his career in 2017 and a big reason why was the offensive line’s ability to keep him clean. If this group can continue blocking well for Bortles, the offense could be even better than they were last year.