Jacksonville Jaguars: Top Offensive Line In The NFL?
We know the story about last season; A team with so much upside that completely fell apart and finished dead last in their division.
Lucky for Jaguars fans, there is a new season upon us and we can forget that last year ever happened.
With so many questions arising about whether or not the Jaguars have a team able to get to the playoffs, my question is, do the Jaguars have the best offensive line in the NFL?
After a quick laugh, I believe that it is fair to take an honest look at the offensive lineman on this team and ask ourselves whether or not there is a team out there with a better offensive line.
We learned last year that it doesn't matter who you have. If injuries occur (especially more than one) to your offensive line, your team is going to be hurt. In the Jaguars' case, it hurt incredibly bad.
I can go on and on about the reasons why just the injuries to the offensive line caused the horrible year, but like I said, there is a new season now and that's what matters.
So lets say that the Jaguars gain back their three main starters they lost for at least a part or all of last season. Those three guys are Vince Manuwai, Maurice Williams, and Brad Meester. Gaining back all three of those players (and hopefully each can play at one hundred percent health) gives the Jaguars three very successful and talented offensive lineman.
After the return of those three, that leaves us with Tony Pashos from last year's squad. Pashos is not the most consistent player, but he gets the job done.
The team released tackle, Khalif Barnes during the offseason who signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Barnes, who was dreadful last season, was quickly replaced by pro-bowler Tra Thomas.
As a Philadelphia native, I can truly say that Tra Thomas is a beast at the tackle position. Perhaps age may start taking a toll on Thomas, but nonetheless, he is still a very good starting tackle in the NFL.
So, that leaves us with the current starting five. That would be Thomas, Manuwai, Meester, Williams, and Pashos. Although that is the current starting five, the true reason that I believe that this could possibly be the best offensive line in the NFL is because of Eugene Monroe.
Monroe more than likely will find himself stepping in for Tony Pashos at some point in the season. There was no mistake that Monroe was selected in the top 10 in the NFL draft because this kid has so much talent and potential as a long term starter and pro bowler.
Adding Monroe into this starting lineup leaves the Jaguars with a group where I see absolutely no holes, and a team that will allow Maurice Jones-Drew to run wild against opponents all year long.
Of course, the key to this team playing like they have the best offensive line is assuming that they can stay healthy. Maybe one injury can occur with the depth on this team, but after that, it is very difficult to play like one the best in the league.
The Jaguars also possess back-ups Eben Britton and Jordan Black. Of course there are more back-ups on the offensive line, but these two definitely come in with the most talent. With any luck, both can sit on the bench and just come in when their name is called.
Many may read this and laugh a little bit, but I see no reason this offensive line can't be one of the league's best.
Looking back a couple of years ago, it was safe to say they did have a top offensive line. As far as I'm concerned, they only look better now then they did then.
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