Jacksonville Jaguars 3 worst moves of the 2023 offseason
1. The Jacksonville Jaguars should've signed a guard in free agency
It's hard to find many weaknesses on the Jaguars roster but one of them is left guard. You could argue that calling it a weakness is a stretch but there are legitimate reasons to be concerned or at least pay close attention. Ben Bartch was the starting left guard in last year's opener but he dislocated his knee in Week 5 and had to be shut down for the remainder of the season.
General manager Trent Baalke told the media before this year's draft that Bartch is progressing well but might not be ready for training camp. If the former St. John Johnny isn't good to go, veteran Tyler Shatley will then step in at left guard.
Shatey is a proven commodity that can line up anywhere on the interior offensive line and can start a couple of games if needed. However, there's a significant dropoff from Bartch to Shatley. Similarly, Cole-Van Lanen hasn't proven he's ready for a feature role while rookie Cooper Hodges is a developmental project at this point of his young career.
This is why it was puzzling to see the Jaguars not add another option at left guard in free agency. Ben Powers, who signed a four-year deal worth $51 million with the Denver Broncos, might have exceeded the team's budget but there were a few more affordable options in the open market. Isaac Seumalo and Will Hernandez signed relatively cheap deals with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals and both of them would have fit the Jaguars' budget.
Dalton Risner is still available in the open market and it would be a good idea to have him on speed dial if Jacksonville begins to feel fidgety about the state of the left guard position in the upcoming months.