Jags could target interior O-linemen in draft

Arthur Arkush
March 31, 2012
Jags could target interior O-linemen in draft

When discussing the ineptitude of the Jaguars’ offense in 2011, the conversation typically begins with young triggerman Blaine Gabbert’s ultraslow development and then shifts to the lack of receiving talent with which he had to work. Jacksonville began addressing both areas in the offseason, signing WR Laurent Robinson to give Gabbert a big-play receiver and adding QB Chad Henne to push the starter and provide an insurance policy.

However, another area where the club fell short was the offensive line, which surrendered 44 sacks. Although the same guys — OLT Eugene Monroe, OLG Will Rackley, C Brad Meester, ORG Uche Nwaneri and ORT Eben Britton — are penciled in as starters, we hear the Jaguars are likely to bolster the depth of the unit, particularly on the interior. After the team re-signed swing tackle Guy Whimper, who started 15 games in place of the injury-prone Britton and provides insurance if Britton isn't healthy next season, word is reinforcements inside will be sought after in the draft. The club remains high on Rackley, who took his lumps while starting 14 games as a rookie and converting from playing primarily left tackle at Lehigh. One scout said the growing pains were expected after he made such a large jump up in class, and the athletic Rackley has plenty of untapped potential. But bringing in a young guard or two to compete with Rackley would be prudent, we hear.

Additionally, Meester just celebrated his 35th birthday, and though he continues to be a solid player and handles all the calls, the club needs to have one eye on the future. Backup John Estes may not be that guy, we hear, so drafting a center could be on GM Gene Smith’s radar, as well.