Let’s face it, the Jacksonville Jaguars have some holes to fill on the offensive line.
Luckily for GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, this offseason will provide them with an excellent opportunity to provide offensive line coach George Yarno with some great players who can come right in and instantly make our line better than it has been in recent years.
Luke Joeckel’s rehab is going well and he’s expected to be ready to go by the time OTA’s and training camp roll around. Having a full offseason at left tackle will work wonders for Joeckel’s progress, something we will all see very soon. Austin Pasztor may have played himself into the starting role at right tackle at the end of last season. With a full offseason as the starter, I expect him and Joeckel to be great bookends for Jacksonville all season long and in the future.
The interior of the offensive line is, unfortunately, a completely different story as Will Rackley and Jacques McClendon can’t possibly be the answer. Brad Meester gave every ounce of himself for all of his 14 years he spent wearing teal, it’s hard to replace someone like Meester in the locker room, on the field, and in the community.
Our very own Justin Lemminn gave us an inside look at five free agent interior offensive linemen who fit well in Jacksonville. Someone who isn’t on Lemminn’s list, but is reportedly on the Jaguars’ radar is Denver Broncos Guard, Zane Beadles.
Tony Pauline reports that the Dolphins & Jaguars "head the list of suitors" for Broncos free agent guard Zane Beadles.
— Matty I (@TheMattyI) February 23, 2014
Beadles, as well as several of the guys on Lemminn’s list, are featured on the list of top-10 free agent offensive linemen in the NFL, released this morning by our editors here at cover32. This all points to an excellent opportunity for the Jaguars to be extremely improved on the offensive line heading into training camp, something that all Jaguar fans would welcome and appreciate.
During his press conference in Indianapolis at the 2014 NFL Combine, David Caldwell had mentioned something that stood out to me about one of the possible scenarios he could see happening this offseason.
“Chad did an admirable job – we went .500 our last eight games and we feel like another year in our offense with some more play-makers maybe and better offensive line play, he could keep us afloat.” – Jaguars GM David Caldwell when asked about the status of FA QB Chad Henne
There are several things you can take from this, but what I get out of it is that Dave intends to find young guys in the later rounds of draft who can sit behind our starters and develop for a year or two. Maybe with your first couple picks, you pick a few guys who can come right in and contribute from day one like Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State with our second round draft pick.
In free agency, you go out and you bring in guys on the offensive line like Beadles and free agent center, Alex Mack. Then, you add some weapons to the offense in guys like Ben Tate and Eric Decker to give Chad Henne something to work with. On defense, you add pass rushers like Michael Bennett or Red Bryant, two Seattle guys who are familiar with Bradley and are looking more and more like cap casualties. Hell, even a Michael Johnson or Jared Allen would be a tremendous upgrade for the Jaguars defense.
All in all, just to hear that the Jaguars have a guy like Beadles on their radar is wonderful news for the fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Follow Grant on Twitter @GGunderson18.