Jaguars smartest move this offseason was drafting OT Walker Little

HC Urban Meyer of the Jackosnville Jaguars and Walker Little #72 (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
HC Urban Meyer of the Jackosnville Jaguars and Walker Little #72 (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Quality offensive line play in the NFL often gets overlooked. More often than not, quarterbacks get most of the credit while wide receiver and running backs get the spotlight when they make a big play, but what about those ‘hog mollies’? When was the last time you heard an analyst refer to an offensive lineman as a playmaker? It’s true that they hardly touch the ball and when they do, it’s because someone else fumbled it. That’s why it’s surprising to see Jacksonville Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Walker Little get some recognition ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently put together a list of every NFL team’s smartest move this offseason and drafting Little was the choice for the Jaguars. Moton believes that taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top pick in this year’s selection meeting was a no-brainer. However, he thinks that they should get more praise for choosing the Stanford product with the 45th overall selection.

Moton notes that left tackle Cam Robinson has been inconsistent throughout his career and if he struggles in 2021, the team will have a high-upside alternative in Little. He points out that even though the Texas native only started one full collegiate season, he was named All-Pac-12 First Team. Moton thinks that if Walker can knock off some rust after not playing in almost two years, he could earn the starting job.

Walker Little could become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ franchise tackle.

The Jags slapped the franchise tag on Robinson earlier this year. That means that he will remain in Jacksonville for at least one more year. Head coach Urban Meyer said the team would like to lock him up with a multi-year deal. Nevertheless, the team’s brass should err on the side of caution and see how he performs this upcoming season before offering him a contract.

Meyer retained offensive line George Warhop, one of the few holdovers from the previous regime. He believes he will have a positive influence on Robinson. The Jags trust the 2017 second-round pick but they also know that they will have to move on from him if he doesn’t perform at a high level in 2021. If he doesn’t improve, this Jacksonville team may feel tempted to plug Little in the lineup.

Back in 2018, Little was one of the top offensive tackles in college football. Alas, he tore his ACL the following year and opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s true that he hasn’t played in a while, but the former Cardinal could have been a top draft selection if he hadn’t been gotten injured. Meyer likes what he has seen so far from Little, and looking back, it’s a good thing the Jags waited to draft him unit the second round instead of investing the 25th overall pick on an offensive tackle.

The team’s brass has done a good job of adding youth to the roster this offseason. Although Little won’t likely start on Day 1, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him be part of the starting lineup by the end of the season if not sooner.

Next. Gardner Minshew must remain with the Jaguars in 2021. dark