What if I told you the offensive line for the Jacksonville Jaguars could a real surprise this season?
I’ll let you pick yourself off the ground for this revelation.
I may be the only one in Jacksonville that thinks this offensive line could be good in 2013 and open holes not only for Maurice Jones-Drew, but could a decent pass-blocking unit that keeps Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne upright more than on the ground.
In other words, for all the hassle this unit takes, I think it could be the surprise of the team this season.
Follow me here, we will have a test on this at the end (not really, but I wanted to keep your interest).
The core of center Brad Meester, guard Uche Nwaneri and tackle Eugene Monroe is solid. Meester is getting older and this may be the last season he plays in Jacksonville,
Nwaneri is a solid guard who battled injuries last season. Monroe had his best season at left tackle since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2009. The rest of the line needs help, but here is where it can all come together.
Mike Brewster was a great find for this team as a rookie free agent last season until he was injured. It is hard to believe he was not drafted when some scouting reports had him linked to the Steelers in the first round last year. The Jaguars got a steal in this player and he could replace Meester next season. Plug him in at guard for now and watch him block interior linemen.
Right tackle is the major concern. Does this team draft a tackle with the second overall pick, say Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel (I vote Fisher) and have him play on the right side, or do they move Monroe over to right tackle?
Besides quarterback and pass rusher, I think left tackle is the most important position on any football team. It’s a tough decision, but draft the tackle and decide later. The one thing you want is your five best offensive linemen on the field at once regardless of position. That sorts out later.
Next, look who is left in free agency. Tyson Clabo of Atlanta has been linked to the Jaguars and the Cowboys. He has ties to general manager David Caldwell from his time with the Falcons.
There is also Eric Winston, who was in Kansas City last season, but played college at Miami, so maybe the lure of coming home to Florida would bring him to Jacksonville, Both would solve the right tackle spot for at least a season.
If either one is signed, then the idea of drafting a tackle with the second overall pick is out the window, but someone like Terron Armstead of Arkansas Pine-Bluff is a possibility with the second round pick (and the Jaguars could trade down). This team has lots of directions it could go in. David Caldwell has said many things are in play when this team makes the second pick in the draft 19 days from now.
They should be, and the fans and the media should realize if the line comes together, avoiding injury and looking like a real “unit,” this is one area that could help the Jaguars improve drastically in 2013.