How good is the Jaguars 2024 O-line? Football Analytics gives its assessment

• The Jaguars expect a better performance from the O-Line in2 024.
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Jaguars offensive line will be under the microscope heading into the 2024 season.

During the offseason, general manager Trent Baalke made it a point to improve the Jags' offensive trenches, signing Mitch Morse at Center. The hope is that he can provide some much-needed protection for Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.

The Jaguars’ big hogs were highly touted at one point in their footballing careers. All five of their projected starters next season were first- or second-round draft picks. However, just because they were once considered to be great talents, does that mean they’ll be able to do the job in 2024? Let’s examine the offensive line and the grade the Jags crew got according to football analytics.

The 2023 Jaguars O-line numbers

You don’t need to be an analytics wiz, a football coach, or a player to know the Jaguars 2023 O-line was awful. Trevor Lawrence was sacked 35 times and Travis Etienne averaged 3.8 yards per carry. That’s a big reason why the offense sputtered through much of 2023.

Per TeamRankings, the Jags' red zone scoring percentage (per touchdowns) in 2023 was at an even 50 percent overall. It came in at 35.36 percent in their last three games of the season. At home last season, that percentage was 38.46, while it was 61.54 on the road.

Those numbers verify what Jaguars fans already knew: The O-line struggled in 2023. Etienne rarely had holes to run through, while Lawrence’s 14 interceptions can be partly attributed to him having to release the ball much quicker since he was constantly under duress.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville’s running game ranked 31st in yards-per-attempt, 24th in rushing yards per game, and 31st in rushing success rate in 2023. The question now is, are they any better heading into next season?

The projected starting O-linemen in 2024

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages

We’ll be seeing several familiar faces on the Jaguars O-line in 2024.

Left tackle Cam Robinson is back and will be one of the veterans counted upon to stay healthy and get back to the elite form we saw early into his NFL career. Brandon Scherff is a five-time Pro Bowler and earned All-Pro status once in Washington. He lived up to his billing in 2023, but at 32, can he still keep up?

Walker Little was on par with Robinson at times last season. He may not get much playing time, but if he does, his performances next season could determine whether the club would let Robinson go or not. Anton Harrison was a first-round selection in 2023, starting 17 games last year, and still has work to do to live up to being Pro Bowl-worthy.

Ezra Cleveland signed a three-year deal in March, and the club is hoping he’ll be a good payoff at left guard. They traded a sixth-round pick to get him from the Minnesota Vikings, which may ease a little pressure off him in 2024 and provide some incentive as well.

Mitch Morse is the only newcomer to the starting O-line, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2022 with the Buffalo Bills. He’ll be tasked with opening holes for Etienne and protecting Lawrence. In addition to that, they’ll depend on him to groom Luke Fortner and help him develop.

What do the analytics say about the Jags 2024 O-line?

The analytics have spoken and it’s not very encouraging news if you’re a Jags fan. Pro Football Focus has the Jaguars offensive line ranked 23rd in the NFL heading into 2024.

It seemed a lot of that was based on 2023, though, with PFFs Zoltan Buday saying the talent of Robinson and Harrison “did not necessarily show on the field last season.”

How can the O-line improve?

It’s easy to look at the numbers and say there’s room for improvement on the O-line. The other side of that coin is that the Jacksonville line was rarely healthy throughout last season. At one point they were down to a fourth option at left guard. Robinson, Little and Cleveland all played left guard for a time, and for some, it was unfamiliar territory for many of them and it showed.

Of course, excuses are for losers, and that’s not the only reason they were so bad. Players have to be ready for anything and being thrust into game situations at different positions should help this group greatly in 2024.

Being healthy will help, but gaining valuable experience will, I think, enable this group to improve at that position in 2024. Besides Jawaan Taylor leaving at the end of 2022, this group has stayed quite similar, and that continuity should show. There’s no reason to think this group can’t get back to its 2022 form if healthy.

Will it be good enough, though against some of the younger, faster and stronger defensive linemen in the game? If the Jags linemen are even half as good as in 2022 there’s no reason to believe they shouldn’t be playoff contenders.

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