The Jaguars wannabe GM looks at offensive line draft prospects
By Kathy Clark
Will the Jacksonville Jaguars find help for the offensive line through the NFL Draft? If so, here are a few prospects the team may look at.
The Jaguars derailed 2018 season was certainly caused in part by the rash of injuries suffered by the offensive line. The team must build a solid line with adequate backups to compete in 2019. They must attempt to avoid the injuries of 2018.
The offensive line is the forgotten group by fans and writers until they commit a critical penalty or get injured.
"According to The Sports Quotient “NFL fans and media for the most part ignore the offensive linemen….yet the quality of the offensive line is one of the most crucial pieces to build a championship contender.“"
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The linemen give the quarterback time to go through his progressions and find open receivers. In addition, they create holes for the running back. As we learned in 2018 a team without an adequate offensive line is a disaster waiting to happen.
The Jaguars have a core group of linemen returning from injury. They are Brandon Linder, Andrew Norwell, Cam Robinson, and 2018 rookie Will Richardson. If the team can keep them healthy, they have great potential. Another group as suggested by Jay Johnson of Jaguars Wire includes Tyler Shatley, Ereck Flowers, and Patrick Omameh. This group, if resigned, with the addition of several rookies should provide some great competition in training camp and a very solid line for the 2019 season.
On paper the above group looks very solid but the team needs several rookies to provide competition for the veterans, potential starters, and possible backups. Due to the needs at quarterback and running back the linemen I chose are projections.
Information about these players is from walterfootball.com.
Jonah Williams – University of Alabama – 6’4” 297 pounds: Williams is an effective blocker in the run game with good size and mobility. He has played both right and left tackle. He may need time to become a top pass blocker. Projected draft round: 1-2.
Andre Dillard – Washington State – 6’4” 306 pounds: Dillard is a good athlete with quick feet and can head off speed rushers. He will need time to develop as a run blocker. Projected draft round: 1-2
Dalton Risner – Kansas State – 6’5” 300 pounds: Risner played right tackle in college. He is a good run blocker who needs to develop as a pass blocker. He is projected as a possible center. Projected draft round: 2
Chris Lindstrom – Boston College – 6’3” 307 pounds: Lindstrom is a good blocker and played well in the Senior Bowl. He is described as a pro caliber lineman and could be an immediate starter. Projected draft round: 1-3
Erik McCoy – Texas A&M. 6’4” 315 pounds: McCoy started as both guard and center and is a good perimeter blocker. His run blocking skills are ahead of pass blocking skills. Projected draft round: 2-3
Michael Jordon – Ohio State – 6’6” 312 pounds: Jordon played well at center for Ohio Sate in 2018. He has size, strength, and athleticism. Projected draft round 2-3
Comments – The Jaguars offensive line looks better than I expected.
If the injuries are eliminated, the new offensive line coach helps the players develop their full potential, and several rookies make the team the line will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Each of the linemen I profiled has positives and negatives. The combine will give each a chance to show his talents and impress NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers.