Jacksonville Jaguars should keep investing in offensive line in free agency
This has been a busy offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Besides giving their coaching staff and their front office a makeover, they have brought in plenty of players via free agency and re-signed some key contributors. They also ensured their offensive line doesn’t have much turnover in 2021 and placed the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson and re-signed offensive lineman Tyler Shatley. Nevertheless, they should continue investing in their offensive line.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently wrote about one move every NFL team should make and says the Jags should keep “spending some cash” up front. He says that protecting Trevor Lawrence — their most likely choice with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — should be one of the biggest priorities and brings up the fact that their offensive line ranked 22nd in 2020.
Davenport then suggests the Jaguars sign someone like Mitchell Schwartz, Rick Wagner, or Dennis Kelly as insurance in case right tackle Jawaan Taylor struggles in 2021. Even though Taylor should play better after taking a step back in 2020, Jacksonville still needs to consider signing a veteran offensive tackle in case the 2019 second-round pick misses time with injuries or underperforms.
The Jacksonville Jaguars benefit from adding depth to their offensive line.
The Jaguars still have around $43 million in cap space, so they can afford to make a few more signings this offseason. While most of the big-name free agents are off the market, there are still some talented players available. Schwartz is recovering from back surgery, so the Jags’ medical staff would have to take a look at his recovery before the team makes a move. Wagner could also be an option at this point, he has starting experience and could offer solid depth.
On the other hand, former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is also available. He’s been pretty durable and has started 90 consecutive games since 2015. He’s 32 and has lined up at left tackle throughout his career, so it would be interesting to see if he would be willing to play right tackle if necessary. However, the Jaguars should inquire about his services. At this point of free agency, it’s unlikely he will get a top-market offer and they should at least explore the possibility of acquiring him or someone else.
While both Robinson and Taylor could play at a high level in 2021, the Jaguars may be better off bringing in a veteran in case either one falters. There’s no reason for them to stop investing in the offensive line.