Jaguars should consider giving free-agent OT Mitchell Schwartz a call

Mitchell Schwartz #71 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Mitchell Schwartz #71 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars made several additions to most positional groups this offseason. However, they opted not to make significant changes to the offensive line and brought back all starters from 2020. They expect the current group will perform better than they did last year but they should err on the side of caution and add depth ahead of training camp. Giving former Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz a call might not be a bad idea.

Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently wrote about different landing spots for Schwartz, who is still a free agent after being released earlier this year, and Jacksonville popped up as a potential destination. Davenport says that convincing the 2012 second-round pick to sign with a team that went 1-15 last season may be a tough task. Nevertheless, he points out that the Jags have a league-high $38.5 million in cap space. He notes that rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will need optimal protection and believes Schwartz could provide precisely that.

Davenport mentions that the Jaguars’ offensive line gave up 44 sacks in 2020 and attributes most of their struggles to left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Davenport highlights the fact that Taylor surrendered eight sacks and a league-high 58 pressures last year. He believes that Schwartz could be a “titanic upgrade” if he plays the way he did before suffering a back injury in 2020 that required offseason surgery.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should kick the tires on Mitchell Schwartz.

It’s uncertain how ready Schwartz will be for the 2021 season but the Jaguars should perform due diligence. Up until 2020, he had made 134 starts. That kind of continuity is difficult to achieve in the NFL. The California product may or may not be healthy but the only way to find out is to bring him in for a visit. The Jags expect Taylor to get back on track after showing promise in his rookie campaign but it wouldn’t hurt to add a little competition in training camp.

Offensive line coach George Warhop said that the 2019 second-round pick has made strides this offseason but there’s still plenty of work to do. He says his biggest issue with Taylor is consistency and pass protection. Warhop praises Taylor for his work as a run-blocker but believes technique and consistency in passing situations have been an issue. The offensive line coach these things have been and will continue to be addressed.

"Where we struggled last year at times was in pass protection. And that’s a technique issue and a consistency issue. And that’s been addressed and will continue to be addressed, those guys know it. It’s something that we’re not shying away from, so it’ll get better."

Signing Schwartz wouldn’t be cost-prohibitive for the Jaguars and he could prove to be valuable if healthy. Jacksonville has done a good job of fortifying the roster this offseason but there is still room for another addition.

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