Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 way-too-early needs in 2022

HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool)
HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars OG Andrew Norwell #68 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jacksonville Jaguars’ way-too-early number one need: Offensive guard

The Jaguars decided to bring back their starting offensive line from 2020 even though they had the chance to upgrade this offseason. They expect the unit to make strides after allowing 44 sacks last season. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor and left tackle Cam Robinson will have their work cut out, as they need to be more consistent in their pass blocking. On the other hand, guards Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann — along with center Brandon Linder — have stood ground in the interior, and that should continue to be the case in 2021.

However, Norwell and Cann are set to become free agents next offseason. Last season, they posted Pro Football Focus overall grades of 67.9 and 69.0, respectively. There’s a chance the Jags keep one of them or even both in 2022 but they need to start planning for the future. Jacksonville has sophomore Ben Bartch on the roster and they re-signed the team’s primary interior backup, Tyler Shatley. Nevertheless, the Jags need to replenish the offensive line next year.

Both Norwell and Cann will turn 30 this year, which is young by NFL standards but they are entering a contract year. This could be the perfect time for the Jaguars to infuse some youth in their interior offensive line. Bartch may or may not turn into a solid player but the team’s brass needs to start planning ahead, so they have someone in case the 2020 fourth-round pick isn’t ready to take on a bigger role.