Oday Aboushi could be solid depth piece for Jaguars’ O-Line in free agency
Wide receiver is probably a more pressing need than the offensive line in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offseason to-do list. However, the front office needs to make sure Trevor Lawrence has enough time to throw the ball if they want him to make significant strides in Year 2. If the Jags are looking for depth at guard, Oday Aboushi could be a solid addition in free agency.
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently put together a list of “buy-low” candidates at every position in this year’s free agency and Aboushi made the cut. A fifth-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2013 NFL draft, Aboushi signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles last offseason.
As Linsey points out, things start out well for Aboushi, posting solid grades in both pass protection and the run game. However, he tore his ACL in Week 5 and missed the remainder of the season. While he won’t be the top guard in free agency, Linsey believes he could take care of a need at a reasonable price:
"He’s now set to enter free agency again off a partial season of quality play, similar to his situation last offseason after starting eight games at guard for the Detroit Lions. Aboushi may not have the highest ceiling of any guard in this free-agent class, but that’s not necessarily what teams with multiple holes along the offensive line should be chasing. Aboushi can take over a starting job and eliminate a weakness on what should be a reasonable deal. That’s a win when it comes to free-agent offensive linemen."
Oday Aboushi could add depth to the Jaguars’ O-Line in 2022.
Right guard A.J. Cann has been a mainstay of the Jaguars’ offensive line since 2015, appearing in 95 games with 94 starts but if he walks away in free agency, Aboushi could be an option to replace him or to have him compete with Ben Bartch for the starting job at right guard.
Just like Cann, Aboushi is coming off an MCL injury that cut his 2021 season short but you could make the case that he’s been the better player of the two over the last two seasons. Cann has never been a top-echelon guard but he’s been a solid starter. On the other hand, Aboushi has only played a full season once and has sat out 35 games over the last four seasons, so expecting him to stay healthy in 2022 could be a recipe for disaster.
The Jaguars will have plenty of cap space this offseason, and if they want to bolster their interior offensive line, Brandon Scherff will be one of their top options in free agency. He won’t come cheap but he would be an immense upgrade upfront.
All things considered, Aboushi may be better suited for a backup role and there will be better options out there but if the Jaguars want to add depth to their offensive line, he will be a solid and affordable alternative.