One of the more important questions for the Jaguars heading into 2020 is what they're going to do with Cam Robinson and their left tackle position.
There's no question that the former second-round pick had a disappointing season at left tackle in 2019. After suffering a devastating knee injury in week two of the 2018 regular season, Robinson made his 2019 regular season debut in week three, just over a year later. In the 14 games he played last season, C-Rob allowed 45 pressures and eight sacks in pass protection. Robinson also picked up 11 penalties on the season.
Entering his fourth year in the NFL, many around Jacksonville are wondering if a move to guard could be in the best interest of Robinson and the Jaguars.
But I don't believe it's the time is right for Cam to move inside. There are a number of factors to consider.
For starters, the Jaguars' coaching staff may have stunted his growth heading into the 2019 regular season. Robinson had his first in-game action in week three of the preseason. But it appears his knee wasn't quite ready, as Robinson then missed the first two games of the regular season. Rushing Cam back on the field for a preseason game may have been a mistake that hampered Robinson for much of the year.
The young left tackle hasn't been given time to develop. His torn ACL less than two games into his sophomore season essentially robbed him of his second season in the league. Then, entering 2019, Robinson wasn't afforded the opportunity to hone his technique and develop as a left tackle. It showed as Robinson struggled to perform at the level expected of a starting left tackle. But as is the case with so many big men, it can take a year or more to recover fully from a lower-body injury. So, with a full offseason to focus solely on his game and not having to rehab a torn ACL, is it that unreasonable to think Cam Robinson could see a fairly significant jump in his level of production in 2020? I think not.
Then there's the question of if Cam would actually be any better at guard. He never played guard in college, starting all of his collegiate games at left tackle for Alabama. There's no guarantee that it would be a smooth transition for Robinson. And which guard spot would he play? The Jaguars certainly need to replace AJ Cann at right guard, but would moving Robinson over to the right side of the line be wise? In a season where the Jaguars' coaching staff and front office MUST win, is putting Robinson at right guard going to make the offensive line perform better? And while many fans are clamoring for starting left guard Andrew Norwell to get the ax, it just doesn't seem likely. The Jaguars won't save much by cutting Norwell. While he hasn't performed to the level of his contract, Norwell has played to the level of a starting guard during his time in Jacksonville — he only allowed three sacks in 2019 and was the 32nd ranked guard in football last year. Again, I'm not defending how much the Jaguars are paying Norwell; I'm just making the case that getting his replacement in free agency or the draft might not achieve better results in 2020. And this team has to play better next season for Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone to keep their jobs.
And you also have to factor in who the Jaguars would get to play left tackle if Cam Robinson did kick inside next season. The team doesn't have the cap space to go out and spend big on a starting left tackle this offseason. And unless you're drafting one in the first round, it doesn't seem likely that you'll get better production than what you would get from Robinson.
Let Cam Robinson work on his hand placement and footwork this offseason and put him out there at left tackle again in 2020. Let him develop in what will only be his second real NFL offseason.
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