The Jacksonville Jaguars must focus on the offensive line with their first pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must come away with at least two offensive linemen, two wide receivers, and help for the secondary in this weekend’s NFL Draft. I know I have been vocal about the team taking a pass catcher outside the first round, but that does not mean I don’t see the need for scoring more points with this football team.
There are certainly other areas of this roster that were exposed over 17 weeks last season no matter which players were on the field. There are reasons why this roster has been changed so drastically within a six-months span by the front office.
Just like other fans, I have loudly complained and used social media to voice my displeasure of the loss of Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Marcell Dareus, but the reality of it all is simple – the team wasn’t winning with these veterans on the field. What makes anyone think this coming season would be any different?
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The Jacksonville Jaguars front office is doing the right thing, but the figureheads at the top – general manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone must repair the offensive line first and then seek help for the defensive line, which did get some help in free agency.
I’m the type of guy who believes you win football games in the trenches. That doesn’t mean you run the football down someone’s throat all time. What it means is solid play upfront helps a quarterback make plays downfield. It also means there are open lanes for the running game and wide receivers have time to run through their patterns.
By the same token, solid defensive lines rush the passer, apply pressure when needed and stop the running game on short-yardage or at the goal line. That’s why I am hoping to see Mekhi Becton’s name called with the ninth pick tomorrow night. His size, speed, and agility are exactly what the left side of the line needs.
You can make a case for any of the top four rated offensive linemen in the draft to be chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars. First, I doubt Tristan Wirfs gets past the New York Giants. Jedrick Wills, Jr is a possibility with either the Arizona Cardinals or Carolina Panthers. Andrew Thomas of Georgia is tempting and might be the most NFL-ready of the bunch, but it’s Becton’s upside that shines over everyone else.
I won’t be surprised if someone like Jeffrey Okudah started to fall and the Jaguars made a move up the board to draft him. If Derrick Brown of Auburn is there for the taking, please do so. But if those two choices have been exhausted, then you must get stronger on the offensive line. It might seem like a move Tom Coughlin would make, but it’s the reason he won two Super Bowls in New York with the Giants.
The Jacksonville Jaguars want to rebuild from the ground up. It makes sense to me to start on the offensive side of the ball and the front five. Hopefully, it makes that much sense to the front office and we see it begin Thursday night with the team’s first pick.