Jaguars offensive line gets low but fair mark in a recent ranking

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brandon Linder #65 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brandon Linder #65 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

Although the Jacksonville Jaguars made changes to most position groups this offseason, they opted to keep their offensive line intact and brought back all starters from 2020. The organization is counting on the group to improve in 2021 after allowing 44 sacks last season. While there’s a good chance they will indeed play better, they were recently ranked in the bottom half of the league.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus recently ranked all 32 NFL offensive lines ahead of the 2021 regular season and the Jaguars landed at number 22. He points out that they have the same spot they had at the end of last year. Palazzolo mentions that left tackle Cam Robinson has been below-average throughout his career while right tackle Jawaan Taylor needs to take a step forward this upcoming season if Jacksonville wants to improve up front.

On the other hand, Palazzolo describes the interior as the strength of the Jags’ line He notes that left guard Andrew Norwell and right guard A.j. Cann finished in the top ten in pass blocking last season. Moreover, Palazzolo highlights the fact that Brandon Linder‘s 87.6 pass-blocking grade was the best among centers last season. He believes that the Jaguars need better play from their offensive tackles but they are in good shape in the interior. Furthermore, he adds that the potential is there to move up the rankings.

The Jacksonville Jaguars trust their offensive line to make a leap in 2021.

As Palazzolo pointed out, Robinson has not performed at a top level since the Jaguars made him a second-round selection in 2017. Still, the team’s brass believes that he can have a breakout season in 2021. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have applied the franchise tag this offseason. Not giving him a multi-year contract was a smart decision. Why would Jacksonville pay the Alabama product if he isn’t playing well?

Taylor’s case is a bit different. He’s still on his rookie deal and is about to enter his third year in the NFL. Even though he regressed in 2020, there’s a good chance he gets back on track this upcoming season. The Florida product isn’t under as much pressure as Robinson to perform but if either one of them struggles this upcoming season, the coaching staff could plug rookie Walker Little in the starting lineup.

The Jags invested a second-round selection in this year’s selection meeting on Little. The Stanford product was one of the top college left tackles before he tore his ACL in 2019. Although he hasn’t played in almost two years, he has earned positive reviews from Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer.  If the Texas native shows flashes of the players he was pre-injury, it will be a matter of time before he joins the Jaguars’ starting offensive line.

Robinson, Cann and Norwell are set to become free agents in 2021. If they surpass expectations, they will cash in either in Jacksonville or somewhere else, so they have a good incentive to play well. If the Jaguars’ starting offensive tackles improve, they will have a formidable unit.

Next. 3 Jaguars that can't take a step backward in 2021. dark