4 offseason moves that will make Jaguars fans change their stance on Trent Baalke

• Trent Baalke doesn't enjoy great reputation among Jaguars fans but that could change if he made these moves.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on the sidelines before the start of Sunday's game against the
Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on the sidelines before the start of Sunday's game against the / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
4 of 4

1. The Jaguars take care of business and draft Jackson Powers-Johnson

You have to win the battle in the trenches if you want to win football games. Teams who cannot effectively protect their quarterback will have a harder time coming out on top. Conversely, your chances of winning will go up if you can routinely bring the heat.

Not surprisingly, one of the reasons the Jags failed to make the playoffs in 2023 was because they couldn't keep Trevor Lawrence upright and they struggled to consistently get after the quarterback. That wouldn't have happened if Trent Baalke had appropriately addressed the line of scrimmage. Knowing how costly it turned out to be, he should be incentivized to pour resources into both lines this offseason. And he should start with the center position.

Luke Fortner, a third-round pick in 2022, has made 34 consecutive starts at center for the Jaguars and has played every possible single snap the past two years. That's most definitely a feat worth achieving but he doesn't have much else going for him. He was a liability in pass protection and run plays last year.

Baalke has previously stated that he believes Fortner has the tools to play well, but the eye test doesn't lie. He was the Jaguars' weakest link in the offensive trenches last season, and he doesn't deserve to be handed the starting job for the third straight year. If the Jaguars are serious about protecting Trevor Lawrence, they should then bench Fortner and draft Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Powers-Johnson is the top center prospect in this year's draft, and he could be a Day 1 starter for the team that takes him. He's projected to go into the first-round and the Jags could be in a position to select him at No. 17. By doing so, they would take care of Jacksonville's biggest need this offseason.

The ball is in your court, Trent Baalke.

Here are more stories from Black & Teal: