4 most compelling position battles ahead of Jaguars training camp

Here are four the most compelling training camp battles the Jacksonville Jaguars will hold.
The helmet of Jacksonville Jaguars guard Samuel Jackson (62) lies on the turf after practice.
The helmet of Jacksonville Jaguars guard Samuel Jackson (62) lies on the turf after practice. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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No. Jaguars 2023 training camp battle #3: Left guard

Ben Bartch, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, was the starter at left guard in the opener last year and he would probably start again next season if he were healthy but that's not the case. The former St. John Johnny dislocated his knee in Week 5 and is still recovering. Head coach Doug Pederson in April that Bartch's availability for training camp would be in question but there should be some clarity (for those outside the building) when it takes place later this month.

If Bartch isn't good to go, veteran Tyler Shatley could take his place in the starting lineup. Shatley has made 30 starts at all three spots on the interior offensive line over the last three years, so he can come in and play if called upon.

But if Shatley does start, it's uncertain who will be the primary backup inside. Cole Van Lanen arrived last season but hardly got any playing time. He could be a viable option but he would need to fend off rookie Cooper Hodges in training camp.

Although Hodges was a sixth-round pick in this year's draft, the Jags seem to be high on him. In particular, offensive line coach Phil Rauscher says Hodges is country strong, and he'll probably be given a legitimate shot to move up the depth chart in training camp.

Having said that, there's a scenario in which Bartch is ready for training camp or the opener. Regardless of the case, the Jaguars need to ensure they have adequate depth on their interior offensive line next season.