Offensive line named Jaguars biggest weakness ahead of training camp

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson #74 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson #74 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Getting Trevor Lawrence weapons in the offseason was one of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top priorities, but so was making sure he has optimal protection up front. That’s why the front office made a few tweaks to their offensive line. But in spite of the changes, the Jags’ offensive line was dubbed a weakness ahead of training camp.

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently drew up a list of weaknesses, strengths, and X-Factors for all 32 NFL teams and he believes Jacksonville’s biggest weakness ahead of training camp is their offensive line. He likes the addition of right guard Brandon Scherff in free agency but isn’t impressed with the rest of the group.

"Left tackle Cam Robinson is coming off a career-best 67.4 PFF grade in 2021 (31st among 39 qualifying left tackles), and that was enough for Jacksonville to give him a three-year extension worth over $50 million. That speaks to where Jacksonville’s offensive line is as a unit. Brandon Scherff was a quality free-agent addition, but that is balanced by Brandon Linder’s retirement at center. On paper, Jacksonville’s offensive line remains one of the weaker units in the league, unless Robinson, Jawaan Taylor and Ben Bartch take a step forward."

Besides inking Scherff and re-signing left tackle Cam Robinson, the Jaguars drafted used one of their two third-round picks in this year’s draft on center Luke Fortner. The former Kentucky Wildcat is currently behind veteran Tyler Shatley on the depth chart and is eventually expected to start. Ben Bartch will tentatively start at left guard in Week 1 and Jawaan Taylor will compete with Walker Little for the right tackle job.

The Jaguars offensive line won’t be a liability in 2022

The Jaguars don’t have a top 10 offensive line and there’s uncertainty at some of the positions. Bartch started 10 games last year but he hasn’t shown he’s the answer at left guard. He will be given a chance to prove he is in 2022. Taylor struggled with penalties last year and has regressed after displaying potential in 2019. Having said that, the team’s brass has a plan in place.

The coaching staff is high on Bartch, who has steadily improved over the last two seasons. Walker should be able to defeat Taylor in training camp but if he doesn’t, it will be because the latter has made series. Last but not least, Shatley did an adequate job of replacing Brandon Linder when he was unavailable. He isn’t going to make Pro Bowl anytime soon but should be able to hold his own until Fortner is ready to step into the starting lineup, which could be this year or the next.

You could argue that the Jaguars’ offensive line is a group in transitions. The unit has a few question marks ahead of the regular season but they should be able to clear most of them during training camp. If all the changes they made in the offseason work out, Lawrence should have plenty of time to throw the ball in 2022.

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