The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a 3-14 season, so they will have to play a few games in 2022 before they can see how much they’ve improved in the offseason. For the time being, they and most of their position groups will show up close to the cellar of most power rankings and their offensive line is no different.
Justin Boone of The Score recently ranked all 32 offensive lines in the NFL and the Jags popped up at No. 25. Boone says that not having Urban Meyer lurking around is huge but also points out that the group only has two proven pieces in left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard Brandon Scherff.
"Don’t underestimate what a difference professional coaching will make in Jacksonville this season. Gone is Urban Meyer’s chaotic mismanagement, and the team now has former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and his staff guiding them.In the opening week of training camp, left tackle Cam Robinson and newly acquired All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff were the only blockers offensive line coach Phil Rauscher was willing to commit to as starters for the upcoming season. However, third-round rookie Luke Fortner is confidently running with the first-team offense."
Boone goes on to say that the position battle to watch will be the one between Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little for the starting job at right tackle. For context, the Houston Texans’ offensive line landed at No. 24 while the Tennessee Titans finished 27th in the ranking. The Indianapolis Colts (seventh) was the only AFC South team that popped up in the top ten.
The Jaguars’ offensive line has a few solid pieces
Boone isn’t the only one who isn’t high on the Jaguars’ offensive line, and nobody should blame him for ranking them so low. After all, Tyler Shatley started 18 games over the last two years but he’s been a reserve throughout most of his career. Similarly, Luke Fortner is making the transition to the pros, and like any other rookie, he’s going to have bumps and bruises in his first NFL season. Having said that, there are reasons for optimism.
Cam Robinson is coming off the best season of his career and has had an outstanding training camp, per John Shipley of Jaguar Report. Similarly, Walker Little’s switch to the right side is going well. The former Stanford Cardinal has a legitimate chance to earn the starting job next to Brandon Scherff. You could make the case that left guard is the weakest link upfront but if Shatley underperforms, the coaching staff could go with third-year pro Ben Bartch.
Of course, the Jaguars must set realistic expectations. If Robinson once again plays at a high level, Scherff manages to stay healthy, Fortner thrives and Little successfully makes the move to right tackle, they could have a top-15 unit. As you can see, that’s too many ‘ifs’, so it’s hard to give them a high mark right now. Maybe the group turns out to be better than expected as the season progresses but there’s an equal chance things won’t go the way the team’s brass envision.
The Jaguars expect Trevor Lawrence to improve in Year 2 and the play of the offensive could end up having a big role in whether he can make a leap or not.