Jaguars 4th-round pick in 2024 NFL Draft earns unexpected praise from PFF

• The Jags took Javon Foster with the 114th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

• Trevor Sikkeman of PFF is a fan of the decision to draft Foster

Jul 17, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Javon Foster (76) speaks with
Jul 17, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Javon Foster (76) speaks with / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive tackle wasn't a pressing need for the Jacksonville Jaguars entering the 2024 NFL Draft. But that didn't stop them from using the 114th overall pick on Javon Foster. While it's hard to see Foster making an immediate impact, Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus praised the selection.

Sikkema recently talked about his favorite picks in the draft, one for each NFL team, and Foster was his choice for Jacksonville. He argues that the former Mizzou Tiger wasn't a top-echelon prospect but he would be an ideal depth piece in case injuries strike in 2024.

"The Jaguars took fliers on some higher-ceiling athletes with their first three picks of the draft, but their fourth pick might have been my favorite: Javon Foster. Foster isn’t the elite-caliber athlete to garner a top-100 selection, but he started for three years in the SEC and consistently earned grades above 80.0 in all three campaigns.

If the Jaguars ever have an injury to one of their starting offensive tackles, he is a great “next man up” to throw into the lineup. That depth is key."

A four-year recruit out of high school, Foster made 41 starts for the Tigers, 39 at left tackle, and two on the right side. At 6'5" with 35-inch arms, size and length shouldn't be an issue for him at the NFL level. The Detroit, Michigan native will need to polish his footwork and hand usage but he's got the tools to develop into a dependable swing tackle down the stretch.

Keep in mind that Foster is currently at the bottom of the Jacksonville depth chart. Cam Robinson and Anton Harrison will tentatively start at left and right tackle, respectively. Also in the mix is 2021 second-round pick Walker Little, who's slated to be the swing tackle next season. That leaves Foster as the No. 2 backup offensive tackle heading into training camp.

Javon Foster can move up the depth chart if the Jaguars make a couple moves

If the Jaguars don't make any moves at offensive tackle before the regular season begins, Javon Foster won't get much playing time. That said, there's a scenario in which he could become the swing tackle in 2024.

Cam Robinson was floated as a potential cap casualty/trade candidate early in the offseason. He is set to have a cap hit of $21.9 million in 2024 but the Jags could free up $17.2 million in space with $4.6 million in dead money if they release him or trade him. However, it doesn't seem like the team's brass is in a rush to move on from him.

If the Jaguars do change their mind, cutting ties with Robinson would pave the way for either Walker Little or Anton Harrison to start at left tackle. Either way, Javon Foster would become the swing tackle in that scenario. But if the Jaguars aren't interested in trading Robinson, they could also shop Little.

Over the last three years, Little has flashed starting potential but it doesn't look like he'll get a chance to prove he's the long-term starter at left tackle in Jacksonville. Teams who want to add competition at the position may inquire about his services, and if Little is gone, Foster would take his place as the primary backup.

If the Jaguars don't make further moves, though, Foster will have to wait until 2025 for his opportunity. Little and Robinson are scheduled to become free agents. The Jags may want to bring back one of them but not both. Unless they added another offensive tackle, Foster could either compete for the starting job or become the swing tackle next year.

For the time being, Foster will need to wait for his chance, but if he makes the most out of his opportunities in 2024, he could become a steady contributor for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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