3 Jaguars offensive linemen land in PFF’s recent rankings

Brandon Linder #65 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Brandon Linder #65 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars brought back all offensive line starters from 2020. Although the unit had some rough stretches last year and allowed 44 sacks, they have the potential to turn things around in 2021. Looking at a recent ranking by Pro Football Focus, it’s clear why the Jags wanted to keep the same offensive line.

Sam Monson of PFF recently ranked the best offensive guards entering the 2021 season, and both Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann made the cut. Norwell finished 13th on the list. Monson explains that the former Carolina Panther has been one of the best pass-blocking guards in the league, giving up just 15 total pressures in 13 games last year. The Jaguars considered trading Norwell this offseason but ended up keeping him. Looking back, this may have been the best outcome for both the team and the player.

On the other hand, Monson ranked Cann 28th. He says that even though the 2015 third-round pick has been inconsistent throughout his career, he’s coming off one of his best campaigns. Last year, he allowed just two sacks and 21 total pressures. Cann is entering a contract year, so having a good 2021 season will help him earn a new deal in Jacksonville or somewhere else.

In a different article, Ben Linsey ranked Jaguars center Brandon Linder sixth out of 32. Linsay says that even though Linder doesn’t have the recognition other centers get, he’s one of the best in the league. Furthermore, Linsey says that only three centers have a higher grade than Linder since entering the league: Travis Frederick, Jason Kelce, and Alex Mack.

What about the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive tackles?

Absent from PFF’s recent rankings are Jaguars offensive tackles Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor. Both of them struggled last year and neither of them has been consistent. If Jacksonville wants to keep quarterback Trevor Lawrence upright, both Robinson and Tayler will need to play better in 2021.

The Jaguars applied the franchise tag on Robinson this offseason. The organization expects the Alabama product to finally turn the corner and show he can be their franchise left tackle. Working in his favor is the fact the team kept offensive line coach George Warhop. The Jaguars are doing everything they can to put the Alabama product in a position to succeed.

Meanwhile, Taylor is entering Year 3 needing to show he’s the long-term answer at right tackle. Although the Florida product displayed flashes in his rookie campaign, he regressed last season and allowed eight sacks and 58 total pressures. Working in his favor is the fact he’s been a starter in Day 1 and hasn’t missed a single snap over the last two years. He simply needs to be more consistent.

Lurking behind both Robinson and Taylor is rookie Walker Little, the 45th overall pick in this year’s selection meeting. Back in 2018, he was one of the top offensive tackles in college football and if he hadn’t suffered an ACL injury, he could have been a top pick in the draft. Head coach Urban Meyer has praised the Stanford product several times, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him join the starting lineup if either Robinson or Tayler falter.

The Jaguars have a formidable interior offensive line. They just need their offensive tackles to play at a higher level this upcoming season. Jacksonville needs to protect their new franchise quarterback and give him enough time to tear opposing defenses apart.

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