The Jacksonville Jaguars have spared no expenses to bolster the offensive line the past two years, and it's easy to see why. The Jags have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, and they want to ensure he gets the best possible protection. However, they haven't gotten enough bang for their buck.
As a whole, the offensive line has struggled in both pass protection and run blocking this season. Except for a few games, Lawrence has found himself having to get rid of the ball faster than he would like. Similarly, their inability to open lanes in the running game has forced Travis Etienne to create yards on his own. Not everything is doom and gloom up front though.
Anton Harrison, the 27th overall pick in this year's draft, has had a relatively smooth transition to right tackle. After lining up mostly at left tackle in college, Harrison switched sides in Jacksonville. While he's had a few rough games, he's progressively gotten better. Walker Little, for his part, has fared well at left tackle when healthy.
Little, a second-round pick in 2021, did a good job of replacing Cam Robinson while he served a suspension early in the season. Although injuries have hindered his performance in recent weeks, Little deserves consideration to keep the job long-term. Having said that, the Jaguars will need better production from their offensive line next season, and they can make these four moves to achieve the goal.
4. Bring competition for center Luke Fortner
Luke Fortner was a Week 1 starter as a rookie last season and ended up giving just one sack in all 17 games. Moreover, he was the lone Jaguars player who appeared on all 100 percent of the offensive snaps. But that's where the positives end. The former Kentucky Wildcat has struggled against the run throughout his career and is arguably the weakest link in the trenches right now.
While it's too early to give up on Fortner, a third-round pick in the 2022 draft, he could benefit from having to compete for his job. The team's brass could use a mid-round pick to draft someone who'll challenge Fortner. An alternative is to go after Aaron Brewer, or any of the other centers slated to hit the open market, including Andre James or Aaron Brewer.
The downside of going after James and Brewer is that they're both expected to command a big salary next year. If the Jaguars went after either one, they would bring them to start, not to compete with Fortner. Given that the front office must address other positions up front, they're better off going after a bargain free agent or drafting a center in Rounds 3 or 4.