Jaguars offensive line will be a focal point of the Draft
By David Levin
Regardless of the work the Jacksonville Jaguars have done already by adding players to the offensive line, it will still be a focal point of the Draft this coming weekend.
Sometimes, you get the exact answer you want from a coach during an interview. On Monday, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone did that for me when I asked about offensive lineman Will Richardson.
After a rookie season that was marred by injuries and lost time on the field, Richardson must come into camp healthy and ready to work. The Jaguars saw no return on the invested fourth-round pick last season. Richardson, who figured to be a player Jacksonville looked to as a possible replacement at right tackle for Jermey Parnell, is in the mix for a role with the team, but where he stands right now is anyone’s guess.
Despite the bodies on the roster and the free agent signings the Jaguars completed, the NFL Draft figures to be another step toward rectifying a unit that needs more strength, more stability and more cohesion.
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When asked about the offensive line and what he thought about the prospects coming out Jaguars executive vice-president of football operations, Tom Coughlin, said the class is deep with talent, something the Jaguars are focused on like the rest of the NFL.
Coughlin, who is candid to a point, wouldn’t say whether the need for a right tackle is at the top of the team’s wish list with the No. 7 pick on Thursday night. Ask many draft “experts” and they will tell you they have mocked Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor to the team from North Florida.
Coughlin said he liked what he saw from Taylor in the time he spent here earlier this month. He like the tackle’s ability and his mean streak, something that should come in handy playing against top pass rushers in the AFC South.
The Jaguars could look to the offensive line with their first pick or use their second-round selection, No. 38, to find a solid player there. Jacksonville gave up 53 sacks last season after only allowing 24 in 2017.
The offensive line started its tumble when Cam Robinson suffered a knee injury in Week 3. Coughlin said the team needs a healthy Robinson on the field in 2019. If the team does draft a tackle in the first two rounds, it is believed Robinson, the team’s second-round pick in 2017 will remain on the left side next to guard Andrew Norwell.