Jaguars look to get younger on interior of O-line

Posted April 02, 2011 @ 3:34 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

Jaguars C Brad Meester and OLG Vince Manuwai were both considered on the bubble heading into training camp last season. Meester was coming off a subpar 2009 campaign, and Manuwai had yet to return to form following a torn ACL suffered early in the '08 season. But strong showings in camp allowed the two veterans to hang on to their starting jobs, and equally strong '10 seasons helped fuel Jacksonville's potent rushing attack.

Heading into the '11 season, their jobs might be slightly more secure, but with Meester at the age of 34 and Manuwai turning 31 this summer, the club knows that it could have two new linemen manning the positions in the not-too-distant future.

A pair of 2010 undrafted rookies who finished last season on I.R. could get consideration. C John Estes and OG Kevin Haslam have both flashed in practice and are viewed as possible replacements somewhere down the road.

Estes is an undersized, physical player; Haslam has nice size but needs to play with more tenacity.

GM Gene Smith, who has made it clear that he wants to build his team in the trenches, also has yet to use a draft pick on an interior lineman. So while a lot of upgrades are needed on the defensive side of the ball, it would not be a big surprise to see Smith attempt to get younger at the guard and center spots in the later rounds this April.