Jaguars 2023 NFL Draft: The case for Taking an Offensive Tackle in Round 1
What are the offensive tackle options for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Round 1?
While left tackle isn’t really a strength of this draft class, there are quite a few options for teams looking for a right tackle or swing tackle who can eventually move into a starting role later. First among those who may be available to the Jaguars with the 24th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft is Anton Harrison out of Oklahoma.
Allowing just four sacks in three seasons at left tackle, Harrison has the hand technique and footwork to be successful on either side. He’s a little on the lighter side and it shows in power situations, but that can easily be remedied over the course of his first season in an NFL weight room (and cafeteria). He could easily be the Jaguars new swing tackle next season and then compete with Wells for the starting job on the right in 2024.
Another great rookie option is Broderick Jones, who spent three seasons with the Georgia Bulldogs. While he played 438 snaps as a backup tackle in 2021, the 2022 season was his only year as a full-time starter. He has a strong base and loves to finish blocks, which would be a good fit for right tackle despite having primarily played on the left in college. Jones is another great option for the Jaguars given their need for a player who can potentially start on the right but has the flexibility to play either side.
The third option we’ll look at is a unique, but fun prospect to evaluate. Dawand Jones is a two-year starter at right tackle for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He stands at 6’8” and weighs 374 pounds with arms that measured 36 ⅜ inches long, giving him the longest wingspan in Senior Bowl history. This is a mountain of a man who led all FBS tackles with just a 1.3% pressure rate, which included not allowing a single QB sack or hit on 394 pass-blocking snaps.
Jones isn't a swing tackle, but he would be the Day 1 starter on the right side. Normally first round tackles aren't expected to play on the right, but given how late the Jaguars are picking, not to mention the proliferation of the passing game in the modern NFL, it is easy to justify a right tackle of Dawand Jones' stature at this pick.
There are quite a few variables the Jaguars will need to consider when assessing the best path forward for the offensive line, but the 2023 NFL Draft offers them a lot of options in the first round. We will have to wait and see whether or not they decide to target that position group early.