One of the objectives for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency was to secure the services of a top-flight guard. As it turns out, of the players the organization has brought in so far, only one is on the offense of side of the ball. While Earl Watford may provide depth at both tackle and guard, he may not be the solution this team is looking for. Kevin Zeitler and Larry Warford, two players high on the team’s wish list, signed elsewhere. There are other options left in free agency, but they may not fit the Jaguars new blueprint.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars want to strengthen its offensive line, it’s going to have to use the NFL draft to make that happen. For years, the offensive line has been this teams weakest link. When Tom Coughlin started out as a coach of this organization back in the 1990s, he brought in and drafted players that not only protected the quarterback’s blindside but also open holes for a very solid running game. The hope is his return will mean those fundamentals will be re-examined.
There are still plenty of work to do in establishing dominance in this area.
It’s highly unlikely Jacksonville would use the first pick in next month’s draft taking offense of lineman. As a matter of fact, taking a guard that high is unthinkable. There are some good guard prospects and offense of tackles who could be groomed to move inside. Coughlin is known for drafting big uglies both on offense and defense. This time, his focus must be on making Blake Bortles feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket.
If you’re the Jacksonville Jaguars do you look to the NFL draft to grab a guard or two? Here are a few prospects they should look at.
Forest Lamp, Western Kentucky – Big boy at 6-foot-4 and 309 pounds. Lamp did not play against the top teams in college football but showed at the Combine and in post season All-Star games he can match up against anyone. Consequently, Lamp is a player on the rise. The Jaguars may look to trade back into the first round to grab a player of his talent.
Cam Robinson, Alabama – I put him on this list because there are some out there who think he can play inside after played tackle for the Crimson Tide. His first official visit to NFL teams happened to be in Jacksonville. Robinson was once listed as a top 10 talent. He has slipped some, leading me to think he will be available at the top of the second round. He could be a plug and play type player who could also be groomed to eventually play tackle.
Danny Isidora, Miami – Isidora is projected as a third or fourth round pick. As a result, he could be a mid-round steal here in Jacksonville. Isidora is a solid player who has a quick push from the point of attack and can handle bigger defensive tackles. He would certainly help the Jaguars’ running game. NFL scouts would like him to be a bit taller, but I don’t see this as a real issue at the next level.
David Sharpe, Florida – He played high school football here in Jacksonville at Fletcher. He could be a solid pick. Sharpe played tackle at Florida, but I think he can move inside and find success. He is massive at 343 pounds. Even so, his best chance to play in this league is to help with run blocking. He proved he had good footwork and had long arms, which will help him ward off interior linemen.