Competition gets the best out of everyone and this is true for NFL players trying to earn a starting job or a roster spot this offseason. The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently set at most positions but they will hold a few battles in training camp to identify their best options.
Some of these battles will be for backup roles but if the objective is to identify the best 53 players to fill the roster, the Jags must embrace competition. With that in mind, here are Jacksonville’s most intriguing position battles ahead of the 2022 season.
Jaguars most intriguing offseason battle No. 1 – Starting center.
After eight NFL seasons, Brandon Linder announced his retirement earlier this year. While he was one of the top centers during his stint in Jacksonville, injuries forced him to sit out several games throughout his career. In fact, he only started 16 games in a year once, which is one of the reasons he decided to hang up the cleats.
The Jags were aware of Linder’s decision to call it quits so they gave Tyler Shatley a two-year deal this offseason. He is currently slated to start at center but he will need to fend off rookie Luke Fortner in training camp. While Fortner played guard throughout most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, he switched to center in 2021 and made 13 starts.
Shatley has made 18 starts over the last two seasons, so he will get the first crack at the starting job. However, Fortner will try to make a case in training camp. Whoever loses the battle will be the Jags’ top backup in the interior offensive line in 2022.