Does Cam Robinson’s likely suspension change Jaguars’ draft priorities?
The Jacksonville Jaguars will reportedly be without left tackle Cam Robinson when they begin the 2023 season. According to a report from John Shipley of Jaguar Report late Wednesday night, the veteran tackle is facing a suspension for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
While the news comes less than 24 hours before the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, it likely isn’t brand new information for the Jaguars. Last week, general manager Trent Baalke hinted at the impending suspension when he told reporters that Robinson would be ready for training camp “from a health standpoint.”
So even though the Jaguars may not be scrambling to make last-minute changes to their draft board, media mock drafts might. But is that an overreaction?
Following the departure of Jawaan Taylor in free agency, Walker Little has widely been expected to take over as the Jaguars’ right tackle. But the Robinson suspension may mean that Little is needed on the opposite of the offensive line early in the 2023 season.
That likely leaves recently signed Josh Wells as the current favorite to handle right tackle duties until it’s time for Robinson to return. That starting duo isn’t a disaster, but it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either. The nonexistent depth behind those two is even worse.
Offensive line help already ranked as one of the top draft needs for the Jaguars. With Robinson reportedly set to miss a chunk of time, it may be an even higher priority.
But don’t expect the Jaguars to ditch their expected plan to take a pass rusher or cornerback Thursday night. The goal in the first round is to add a premium talent who serves as a cornerstone for a decade. An offensive lineman could certainly represent that for the Jaguars, but the team probably won’t be shifting its long-term plans due to being without Robinson for a month or so.
Two weeks ago, oddsmakers had offensive line as the third likeliest position for the Jaguars’ first pick. That should still be the case, regardless of Robinson’s likely suspension.
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