Jaguars OL Tyler Shatley may have a tough time making 53-man roster in 2024

Oct 8, 2023; London United Kingdom, Jacksonville Jaguars center Tyler Shatley (69) leaves the field
Oct 8, 2023; London United Kingdom, Jacksonville Jaguars center Tyler Shatley (69) leaves the field / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran offensive lineman Tyler Shatley is back in the fold. The Jacksonville Jaguars announced they've signed him days before the 2024 NFL Draft. While he provides depth and experience up front, he may have an uphill battle to make the team.

Shatley became a free agent in March after signing a two-year deal in 2022. An undrafted free agent in 2014, he is currently the longest-tenured player on the roster. His 145 games in Jacksonville are the fifth-most in team history. Brad Meester sits at the top with 209, wide receiver Jimmy Smits is second with 171 and Marcedes Lewis sits at No. 3 with 170. Shatley would need to appear in 24 games to surpass Josh Scobee's 168.

In his first six seasons, Shatley only made 15 starts. Since 2020, injuries have pressed him into a more prominent role. Whether he lined up at center in relief of Brandon Linder, replacing A.J. Cann at right tackle and filling in for Ben Bartch on the left side, his flexibility to play all three interior spots proved to be valuable.

That said, Shatley is better suited for a backup role. He replaced Ben Bartch in the starting lineup early in 2023 but he himself got benched after just one game. He'll step in if called upon, but there's a reason he's been a career backup. On the other hand, the former Clemson Tiger provides insurance in case the Jaguars don't find an interior lineman on the draft or none of their current ones step up in training camp.

Why Tyler Shatley may not make the Jaguars initial 53-man roster

The Jaguars will be getting Cooper Hodges back in 2024. The Appalachian State product missed his rookie season with a patella injury but flashed in training camp. Had he stayed healthy, he might've made a push for a backup job. He's back at full strength and will compete with Tyler Shatley for a roster spot. He might hold an edge over his veteran counterpart by virtue of being younger.

There's also a chance the Jaguars will take one or two inside linemen to develop in the upcoming draft. If that's the case, Shatley could have an uphill battle to make it. Then again, the organization liked him enough to bring him back, so he shouldn't be ruled out just yet.

In the end, you can never have too many offensive linemen. Depth was an issue for the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, and they're taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen once again.

Here are more Jaguars news: