3 things to know about Jacksonville Jaguars center Luke Fortner

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The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted a replacement for former starting center Brandon Linder during the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft when they selected Kentucky center Luke Fortner with the 65th overall pick.

Fortner is a solid candidate to replace Linder. In his final season with the Wildcats, he made the switch from right guard to center. Fortner was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist, which is given to the player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. He was also named to the Rimington Trophy Watchlist given to the nation’s top center.

Of course, the starting job at center won’t be handed to Fortner but he is the favorite. His main competition is 2021 backup center Tyler Shatley who Jacksonville re-signed this offseason.

Here are three other things to know about Fortner.

Fortner played a part in Kentucky having one of the best offensive lines in the country

Oct 16, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) works against Kentucky Wildcats guard Luke Fortner (79) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats’ offensive line unit was recognized for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s top offensive line, for four straight seasons, including being a finalist in 2021. Fortner played at Kentucky for six seasons where he played in 55 games and made 36 consecutive starts.

Fortner was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist in 2020, too

Mar 3, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky offensive lineman Luke Fortner talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

NFL draft analysts raved about Fortner’s abilities off the field as well as on the field, which his accolades back up. He was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist in 2020 and 2021. Fortner could be a future leader for the Jaguars down the road.

Fortner was a three-star prospect coming out of high school

Feb 5, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; American squad offensive lineman Luke Fortner of Kentucky (55) and offensive lineman Ed Ingram of LSU (70)at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive linemen are some of the hardest players to scout and project when they are about to transition from high school to college. Fortner was slept on as a high school prospect where 247Sports only had him as a three-star offensive tackle. He was also the 1,436th overall prospect and the 115th best at his position.

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