Versatile OL Rackley bolsters Jaguars' interior

Posted May 12, 2011 @ 2:57 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

After swapping first-rounders and sending a second-round pick to the Redskins to move up six spots and select their QB of the future, Blaine Gabbert, surely the Jaguars would turn their attention toward their woeful defense in Round Three, right?

Wrong.

In typical Gene Smith fashion, the Jaguars' general manager stuck with his draft board and orchestrated a second trade, swapping third-rounders and sending a sixth-round pick to the 49ers to move up four spots and acquire Lehigh OG-OT Will Rackley.

While the need to upgrade the interior of the offensive line probably wasn't as dire as bolstering several positions on defense, Rackley, whom we hear the club had a second-round grade on, brings an infusion of much-needed youth to the interior of the Jaguars' O-line.

A team captain in college, Rackley started 45-of-46 games during his collegiate career, seeing time at left guard as a freshman before moving to left tackle for his final three years. The Jaguars fell in love with him not only because of his versatility, but also for his outstanding character and athleticism.

Although Rackley, who projects as a guard in the NFL, might not immediately figure into the Jaguars' 2011 plans — ORG Uche Nwaneri received a lucrative extension last season and OLG Vince Manuwai is coming off a resurgent '10 campaign — we hear that Manuwai, who turns 31 in July, and backup OG Justin Smiley will both be under the microscope if and when training camp opens.