Ensuring the offensive line is up to snuff should be one of the Jaguars' top priorities as they prepare to make Trevor Lawrence the number one overall pick. Earlier this month, Urban Meyer publicly went to bat for his offensive line, saying, "our offensive line is pretty good." But that doesn't necessarily mean he's all in on each of the Jaguars' five starters.
Jacksonville's starting left tackle of the last four years, Cam Robinson, is set to become a free agent, and speculation on how the Jaguars might address the left tackle spot has been rampant. The Jaguars have the salary cap space and draft capital to seek any offensive tackle they desire.
Many have connected the dots between the Jaguars and Ravens' offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Brown, who has primarily played right tackle in Baltimore, got his chance to take over at left tackle after Ronnie Stanley's injury and played very well on the left side. Now, Brown doesn't want to relinquish his job as the left tackle, so he's asked the Ravens to trade him to a team that wants to start him on the left side. According to Chad Forbes, the Jaguars and Ravens have been "dancing on Orlando Brown Jr."
Would Brown make sense for the Jaguars? It depends on the asking price. I'd be wary of giving up a first-round pick for Brown, who lacks athleticism and has been helped mightily by Baltimore's O-Line friendly offensive scheme. Brown is also up for a contract extension, with his contract expiring after the 2021 season. Still, there's little question that Brown is playing better football than Cam Robinson at this point in their respective careers. In a vacuum, I'd undoubtedly pick Brown over Robinson. But when you factor in the potential opportunity cost, which could be a first-round pick or more, and a large chunk of the salary cap, I see more promising avenues to protecting Trevor Lawrence.
Trent Williams is set to become a free agent, and while he's 32 years old, his level of play is light years ahead of Orlando Brown and Cam Robinson. Williams is still one of the most athletic tackles in the game and buries opposing defenders with ease. The 49ers have tried and failed to come to terms with Trent, and he has a no-franchise tag clause in his contract. The Jaguars should throw the bag at Trent to protect Trevor during his rookie contract. They could even transition tag Cam Robinson while waiting to get a decision from Trent Williams. So if Williams doesn't work out, the Jags could then match any offer sheet a team signs Cam Robinson to. It's doubtful that a team is going to offer Robinson a massive deal with the current salary cap climate.
I'm not patently against trading for Orlando Brown Jr., and I do see him as an upgrade over Cam Robinson. But if it costs a first-round pick or more, count me out. He's a tackle that's been protected by scheme, and while I'm sure Urban Meyer will know how best to use Brown, the cost might be too steep, especially when you factor in the possibility of adding an all-world left tackle in Trent Williams without giving up any draft capital.
How will it all play out? Stay tuned to find out!
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