3 Jaguars late-round picks from 2020 that could make an impact in 2021

General view of Jacksonville Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
General view of Jacksonville Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Ben Bartch #78 (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) /

Ben Bartch could become a fixture of the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line.

The Jaguars couldn’t protect whoever took snaps behind center last season. In spite of the offensive line overall talent, they gave up 44 sacks and had trouble opening holes for the running game. The fact center Brandon Linder, right guard A.J. Cann, and left guard Andrew Norwell missed time with different ailments played a role in the unit’s lack of consistency.

On the bright side, rookie Ben Bartch showed he could handle the transition from Saint John, a Division III program, to the NFL. The 2020 fourth-round pick appeared in 13 games and made one start. Just like most rookies, he had ups and downs but also showed he could hold his own in the pros.

Bartch played 21 percent of the team’s total snaps on offense and posted a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 58.5. He allowed eight pressures (no sacks) on 162 pass-blocking snaps. While the former Johnnie still needs to work on his technique, he could develop into a solid starter as early as this year. Tyler Shatley is currently the primary backup in the interior but Bartch could move up the depth chart in training camp.

The Jaguars, just like every other NFL team, didn’t run a proper offseason program in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the league has resumed in-person training and Bartch will benefit from having a full offseason to prepare. He may not play unless injuries hit the offensive line but if he does, he may not go back to the bench.