Yahoo Sports suggests Jaguars take top center prospect in 2024 to address a huge need

• Jackson Powers-Johnson would fill a huge need for the Jaguars in the 2024 draft.

Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58)
Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Saying that center is a massive need for the Jacksonville Jaguars could be an understatement. With incumbent Luke Fortner struggling in 2023, the Jags may need to look for his potential replacement this offseason. There will be plenty of options in the open market but if they choose the draft route, they could then go after Jackson Powers-Johnson, the top center prospect in this year's class. Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports thinks they should.

Owens took a deep look at the Jaguars and discussed their biggest strengths and weaknesses at length. He believes fixing the offensive line should be their biggest priority and argues that drafting Powers-Johnson could help them do so.

"At 6-3 and 320 pounds, Powers-Johnson is both a powerhouse and a tremendous athlete. He can play center or guard and would be an excellent fit for a team that desperately needs help up the middle."

Powers-Johnson is the top center prospect in this year's draft, making 13 starts last year. However, he can also line up at guard, which makes him an appealing prospect in the eyes of scouts. After all, you want your hog mollies to play as many positions as possible, and the former Oregon Duck has the flexibility to line up at both center and guard.

While Powers-Johnson needs to work on his stance and hand placement, he could be a Day 1 starter in the NFL regardless of where he plays. This has made him a trendy pick to replace Luke Fortner in Jacksonville. A third-round pick in 2022, the former Kentucky Wildcat flashed as a rookie. He was expected to make strides last year but instead took a step back, ranking 31st among centers in the league.

General manager Trent Baalke says that his confidence in Fortner hasn't wavered. In fact, Baalke says the third-year pro has the tools to play in the NFL and do it well. However, his performance last season left much to be desired, and if the Jaguars are serious about improving in 2024, making upgrades at center should be one of their top priorities.

Jackson Powers-Johnson would give the Jaguars a huge boost up front

Most Jaguars fans would approve of Jackson Powers-Johnson being the pick at No. 17, and rightfully so. He has the tools to potentially be a 10-year starter in the NFL. Having said that, center is far from their only need and they can easily address it in either free agency or later rounds of the draft.

See, center isn't a premium position, so the Jags, and other teams, may not want to address it early in the draft, especially when you take into account that they can find a good one in Rounds 2 or 3. Wide receiver, the pass rush, and cornerback may not be nearly as pressing needs but those are ultimately the kind of positions Jacksonville might prioritize in the draft.

Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. has been linked to the Jags, and he could be an intriguing pick in case Calvin Ridley walks in free agency. Similarly, the team's brass needs to replenish the cornerback room with Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell expected to hit the open market in 2025. On the other hand, they could find a solid veteran center such as Andre James in free agency or go after someone like Zach Frazier or Graham Barton in later rounds of the draft.

Simply put, Jackson Powers-Johnson would give the offensive line a massive boost but it's not a given the Jacksonville Jaguars will draft him when you take into account that they may be better off bolstering other positions at No. 17.

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