Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Where Will Jags Find Line Help? with Free Agent Well Likely Dry, Tackle Could Be Picked in Middle Rounds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Where Will Jags Find Line Help? with Free Agent Well Likely Dry, Tackle Could Be Picked in Middle Rounds

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

INDIANAPOLIS | It won't happen in the first round and it might not happen in the second or third rounds. But at some point of this spring's NFL Draft, the Jaguars would be wise to draft an offensive lineman capable of providing right tackle competition.

Three players - Cam Bradfield, Sam Young and Austin Pasztor - started at the position in 2014; Bradfield was cut after Week 2, Young is a journeyman and Pasztor, the incumbent starter, has had labrum, hand and hamstring surgeries in the last 13 months.

Pasztor's durability and on-field concerns have made right tackle a priority.

The free agent class for right tackles is slim pickings. Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga and Houston's Derek Newton top the class, but both are priority re-signings for their teams.

That leaves the draft.

Let's say the Jaguars think about right tackle in the middle rounds (3-5). Currently in that range are Oklahoma's Daryl Williams, Oregon's Jake Fisher, Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi, Penn State's Donovan Smith and South Carolina's Corey Robinson.

Thirty-five of Williams' 36 college starts came at right tackle, Fisher started two years at right tackle before moving to left tackle as a senior and Ogbuehi sustained a torn ACL in training last month.

Smith and Robinson made their way through the media room Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Smith, who turns 22 on June 23, played for head coaches Joe Paterno (redshirt year), Bill O'Brien (freshman and sophomore) and James Franklin (junior), starting 31 games at left tackle.

Regardless of who drafts him, Smith thinks being in three different playbooks will benefit him at the pro level.

"Transitioning from college to the NFL will be a big help because I've seen different things and that will help me adjust quickly," he said. "It won't be the first time I'll have seen a play or something of that nature."

Smith earned his criminology degree in 3 1/2 years and elected to enter the draft even though the Advisory Board's suggestion was to stay in school (the board gives three grades: First round, second round or stay in school).

"I went with my gut and talked to my family and made the decision on my own," he said. …

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