Over the last several years the Jaguars have been slowly adding quality pieces to their offensive line. In 2017 that resulted in the Jags O-line paving the way for the NFL's number one rushing attack and helped Blake Bortles to be sacked just 24 times - by far the lowest number of his career.
Still, the offensive line, at times, left a lot to be desired. There were times last season when the rushing attack couldn't get things going. And there were certainly plays where Blake Bortles either didn't stand a chance or had to tuck and run way before he should have.
This offseason the Jaguars decided to address the O-line in a big way, adding All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell. At the time he signed his contract earlier in 2018 Norwell was the highest paid guard in football. By adding Norwell to the group the Jaguars hope to jump from a good offensive line to an elite one.
On Norwell's left the Jaguars will deploy second year left tackle Cam Robinson. Despite battling injuries throughout his rookie season, Robinson performed admirably and has the skill set, motor, and attitude to develop into an above average left tackle in year two.
To Norwell's right the Jaguars have Brandon Linder, a center who has proven to be the most consistent offensive lineman on the Jaguars roster over the past few seasons. While Linder has battled his fair share of injuries since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2014 out of Miami, he's played in at least 13 games in each of the last two seasons. He will be the centerpiece of the Jaguars (hopefully) improved offensive line in 2018.
On the right side of the O-line the Jaguars have veteran Jermey Parnell, who was dynamite for the team in 2017, allowing just two sacks during the regular season and none during the Jaguars three game postseason run. Parnell has also proven to be an excellent run blocker during his time in Jacksonville.
The final starter for the Jaguars enters the season on the hot seat. Right guard AJ Cann has had an up and down career. His 2017 season was the perfect example. There were several games last season in which Cann was dominant, but he also put up a few stinkers. If he can develop into the player that Dave Caldwell envisioned him to be when he was selected in the third round of the 2015 draft then the sky will be the limit for this offensive line.
Of course, when you're talking O-line there's bound to be some injuries - the Jags dealt with quite a few injuries across their line in 2017 - but in 2018 the team appears to be better equipped to handle injuries. Rookie right tackle/guard Will Richardson is coming along nicely and should be able to fill in for Jermey Parnell or AJ Cann, should one of them suffer an injury at some point in 2018. Richardson posted the highest ever pass blocking grade by PFF in 2017 and should be well prepared to face NFL defensive lineman. All of the defensive line starters he faced in practice while at NC State have been drafted and the ACC as a whole has no lack of talent on the defensive line.
The Jaguars have several other backups with experience. Interior offensive lineman Tyler Shatley was forced to start eight games over the past two seasons and played well when his number was called. Swing tackle Josh Wells saw significant action in 2017 and should be able to fill in at either tackle spot.
With a starting offensive line that features an All-Pro in Andrew Norwell, a Pro-Bowl caliber center in Brandon Linder, a rising star at left tackle in Cam Robinson, a nasty right tackle in Jermey Parnell, and AJ Cann at right guard the Jaguars offensive line should reach heights not seen in over a decade in Duval. Add in several quality backups across the line and the Jags should be well on their way to having one of the elite offensive lines in all of football.
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