Jaguars roster: 3 weakest positional groups entering 2021 season

Fans of Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Fans of Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars made many questionable personnel moves last offseason, including getting rid of core players such as defensive end Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. The front office also opted not to take advantage of their vast amount of cap space and refrained from adding playmakers with the exception of linebacker Joe Schobert. These decisions played a part in the Jags’ 1-15 record last season. On the bright side, the Jags finally used all those assets they hoarded and gave their roster a makeover this offseason.

The Jaguars had the most cap space in the league this offseason and added depth and a few difference-makers such as Shaquill Griffin in free agency. They also entered the 2021 NFL Draft with ten selections, including two first-round picks, which they used on quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. Unfortunately, this Jacksonville team had plenty roster holes to fill and finite resources. Even though they did a good job of upgrading most position groups, some of their units could still use some improvements.

These are currently the Jaguars’ three weakest position groups:

1. Tight end – Earlier this year, the Jags used their cap space to bolster their secondary and their defensive front. One position the team hardly invested in was tight end even though they had the chance to pursue someone like Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. They did sign Chris Manhertz, who is a devastating blocker, but is far from a deep threat. They also brought back James O’Shaughnessy, but the veteran is better suited for a backup role.

Jacksonville drafted Luke Farrell but he’s a project and isn’t a receiving threat either. This led the Jaguars to take a flyer on Tim Tebow, who is making the transition from quarterback to tight end and last played in the NFL back in 2012. His connection with head coach Urban Meyer will increase his odds of making the team but it’s doubtful he will turn into a receiving tight end.

The Jags still have time to trade for someone like Hayden Hurst or reunite with Tyler Eifert but it wouldn’t be surprising if they roll with their current group. If that’s the case, sophomore Ben Ellefson will be someone to keep an eye on.

2. Offensive tackle – Left tackle Cam Robinson has been inconsistent throughout his four-year NFL career. Nevertheless, the new regime still thinks he could develop into an upper-echelon player and slapped him with the franchise tag this offseason. While this may be the year Robinson turns the corner, there’s a chance he’s already peaked. Then, there’s right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who regressed last year after having a solid rookie campaign in 2019.

The Jags could’ve traded for Orlando Brown Jr. or aggressively pursue Trent Williams in free agency. However, they feel confident both Robinson and Taylor will perform at a high level in 2021. On the bright side, if either one struggles, rookie Walker Littler could take their place.

3. Defensive tackle – Jacksonville did a good job of giving all three levels on defense a boost. Their cornerback room has the potential to be a strength and the play of their linebacker corps was one of their few bright spots last year. The Jaguars also added depth at defensive end and drafted EDGE defender Jordan Smith to back up Josh Allen.

On the other hand, the defensive tackle position could have used more help. The team traded for Malcom Brown and drafted Jay Tufele. They also have sophomores Doug Costin and DaVon Hamilton but this is a rather young group. The Jags are expecting a bunch of first and second-year players to contribute. Although the decision could pay off down the road, it also has the potential to backfire.

Next. 3 potential scenarios for Gardner Minshew in 2021. dark