Last week I broke down the Jaguars' safeties heading into the 2020 season. I'll continue the same exercise for each of the Jaguars' positional groups as we inch closer to the 2020 regular season (hopefully).
The Jaguars' offensive tackle group is relatively youthful. Cam Robinson, the embattled starting left tackle, is entering his fourth season as a pro. Jacksonville selected Robinson in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Robinson had a promising rookie year, helping the Jaguars to finish sixth in total offense en route to a division title and AFC Championship game appearance. But an ACL tear in just the second game of the 2018 regular season ended Robinson's sophomore campaign. Instead of honing his craft during the 2019 offseason, Robinson was forced to rehab his knee. As he battled back from injury, the Jaguars allowed him to take the field prematurely, which unsurprisingly led to a setback, putting him on the sideline until week three of the regular season. It was a bumpy road for Robinson in his third year. He routinely allowed heavy pressure early on, but as he gained his prior form, Robinson's consistency improved. Still, Robinson didn't perform at a high enough level to maintain his job security moving forward. He's very much on the hot seat entering 2020. But the Jaguars' front office and coaching staff are still in Robinson's corner, at least publically. The company line has been something to the effect of, "We're excited to see what Robinson can do with a full offseason to work on his game."
On the other side, Jawaan Taylor enters his second year as a pro. He too was selected by the Jaguars in the second round. Taylor had some fantastic moments as a rookie, holding his own against some of the best pass rushers in football. His most significant area of weakness? Penalties. He picked up 14 flags as a rookie, which just so happens to be the exact amount that Cam Robinson tallied during his rookie campaign. Taylor will need to continue to clean up the mental side of the game so he can thrive as both as a pass protector and a mauler in the run game. The former Florida Gator showed improvement in that regard down the stretch, picking up just two penalties in the final four games of the season.
There isn't much in terms of depth at offensive tackle in Jacksonville. Will Richardson, who spent time at right guard and at tackle in 2019, will make the move to tackle full time, which could improve his consistency on the outside. Richardson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 Draft by the Jags after being one of the most prolific pass protectors in college football history at NC State. If he can lock down the role of the swing tackle, it will help the Jaguars' depth immensely.
The Jaguars also added Ben Bartch in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played left tackle in college but will begin his NFL career working at guard instead of tackle.
Beyond that, the depth is virtually non-existent at offensive tackle. Should the Jaguars have done more to secure the edge on the offensive side of the ball? Time will tell. It's a prove-it year for Cam Robinson, while Jawaan Taylor just needs to show steady progress. If either tackle goes down, it could mean big trouble for Gardner Minshew and the rest of the Jaguars' offense. As is the case with many of the Jaguars' position groups heading into 2020, there's a high variance in the range of outcomes at offensive tackle.
Overall Grade: 70 C-
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