The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have some work to do if they want a shot at improving the passing attack, regardless of who the quarterback is. Having a good, solid group of receivers can help, but it all boils down to protection–in this league, you have to be able to keep your field general upright and keep the pocket clean, something the Jaguars haven’t been able to do.
Luckily for GM Dave Caldwell, the draft has several guys who could fit in along the offensive line and really help bolster the pass protection for whoever is thrown to the wolves on Sunday.
Looking at the top-10 guards and centers in the NFL draft, there are a few guys who stick out to me that could really improve the protection of the pocket for Jacksonville in 2014.
Here’s my top three and what the editors here at cover32 had to say about them:
OG Anthony Steen, Alabama
Big and strong at 6-foot-3 and 314 pounds, Steen is a solid anchor in the middle of the line. When rushers come straight at him, he’s able to dominate them at the point of attack. But some teams worry about his ability to block defenders who aren’t right in front of him, especially if he gets into space.
Center Weston Richburg, Colorado State
Teams love CSU’s center, who is moving up draft boards around the league. His compact frame – 6-foot-3 and 298 pounds – is ideal for his position, as it allows him to move well from side to side, pull on running plays and get downfield on screens. And as he showed against Alabama in 2013, Richburg shines against any level of competition.
OG Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
If the 336-pound Jackson gets his hands on a defender, they aren’t getting loose. He takes them out of the play, trying to obliterate them in the process. He’s a pancake-blocking machine, the type of player who can break an opponent’s will. However, he seems to lack a little bit of field awareness, as his instincts for the game aren’t great.
Follow Grant on Twitter @GGunderson18.