No. 2 Jaguars best-kept secret in 2022: Luke Fortner, OL
Of all the Jaguars’ position groups on offense, their offensive line might be the biggest question mark and possibly their biggest weakness ahead of the 2022 season. Not because the unit lacks talent but rather because there will several new starters.
Five-time Pro Bow nod Brandon Scherff will solidify the right guard position and left tackle Cam Robinson will do the same at left guard. However, there’s uncertainty at right tackle, left guard and center, where rookie Luke Fortner is slated to start against the Washinton Commanders in Week 1.
Then again, if the Jaguars’ brass didn’t feel comfortable about Fortner lining up at center from Day 1, they could easily go with veteran Tyler Shatley, who’s precisely played the position when Brandon Linder was unavailable.
Center was one of the Jags’ biggest position needs in the offseason due to Linder’s retirement but instead of addressing it in the first or second round of the draft, they waited until the third round to select Fortner. Looking back, the decision could pay off in the long term.
Back at Kentucky, Fortner made 23 starts at right guard before moving to center in 2021 and starting 13 there. He will be tasked with containing defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne in the season opener, and if here fares well, the Jaguars won’t have to worry about the center position for the remainder of the year.