No. 2 the Jaguars failed to address in the 2022 NFL Draft – Guard.
It’s true that the Jaguars drafted Kentucky Luke Fortner at No. 65 but it feels like they could have given their interior offensive line a bigger boost in the draft. Ben Bartch is currently set to start at left guard and while he’s shown progress over the last two seasons, the team’s brass could have added another guard. After all, competition brings the best out in everyone.
Fortner also played center in college, so he could line up there for the Jags. But Trent Baalke should have poured more resources into their interior offensive line. Brandon Scherff was the crown jewel of Jacksonville’s free-agent class but the five-time Pro Bowl guard hasn’t appeared in a full season since 2016 and having solid depth could certainly help if he were to sit out a few games in 2022. If Fortner can’t beat incumbent Tyler Shatley for the starting center job, he might be the primary backup in Jacksonville’s interior offensive line.
The Jaguars could have jumped back into the second round and taken LSU guard Ed Ingram, who ended up going to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 59. Similarly, they could have drafted Memphis offensive lineman Dylan Parham with the 70th overall pick instead of Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma.
Would it have been a sound decision to draft interior offensive linemen with back-to-back picks? Maybe but it would definitely not have been shocking when you take into account that the Jags took two cornerbacks with consecutive picks in the second round.