In case you've been hiding under a rock, or somewhere without the internet, for the past couple of months, the Jaguars have a new "franchise lifting" quarterback, and his name is Nick Foles. The former Super Bowl MVP met with the local media on Tuesday and talked about his move to Jacksonville and his love of basketball, amongst other things.
On the football side of it, Foles talked about the importance of the tight end position.
"Tight end in the league right now is so important," said Foles. "The big reason is that you want a guy who can go out and catch the ball. I've played with two of the best in the game, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz, young up and comer Dallas Goedert and I've also played with Brent Celek. I'm trying to get those guys names out just in case because I know I'll get messages and they'll get mad at me. But it's really important. You've got to be able to run the ball with the tight end in the game, but they also have to be able to go out and catch the ball. So, it's very hard to find guys that are good at both. But the key to a great offense, honestly, you really do need a good tight end."
It's no secret that Foles has enjoyed success playing with some of the more talented tight ends in the game. Foles comments on Tuesday confirmed what most of us already knew: Foles puts a major value on the tight end position and what those guys can do.
The Jaguars' tight end position is currently the weakest on the team. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was allowed to test free agency and ultimately signed with the Patriots after the Jaguars elected not to pick up his 2019 option.
The only tight ends on the roster with any real experience are the oft-injured Geoff Swaim, the career backup James O'Shaughnessy, and Ben Koyack, who wasn't even good enough to make the initial 2018 53 man roster.
Needless to say, the Jaguars have some work to do at the tight end position next week at the draft. Could Tom Coughlin, Dave Caldwell, and company elect to draft one in the first round? If not, they'd be wise to get Foles a seam stretching target soon thereafter.
But when asked which he would rather have, a talented tight end or a stud right tackle, Foles made it crystal clear which he believes is more important for offensive success.
"To be honest, the foundation of the offense is always through the O-Line, it really is through the O-Line," said Foles. "The guys I've played with, it's really hard to run a successful offense without those guys up front, not only from a skill perspective but also from a mindset" . . . "It all starts up front, that's football, and then you build around that."
Most football diehards would agree: if you win in the trenches, you set yourself up for success everywhere else. That philosophy is precisely what Foles eluded to.
The right side of the Jacksonville offensive line could use an infusion of talent. Whether it's in the first, second, or third round, the Jaguars should add a versatile player with the talent to help stabilize an offensive line that was decimated by injuries in 2018. The team isn't likely to find so much misfortune on the injury front again in 2019, but it's better to be safe than sorry when protecting your QB.
Regardless of which position the Jaguars elect to pick in the first round next Thursday night, the focus should be on helping Nick Foles out as much as possible. Upgrading the right side of the line and the tight end position should both be priorities for the Jacksonville front office next weekend.
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