Jags Fans Are Hoping It Was Worth It
By Troy Graham
Core is defined as the central, innermost or most central part of anything according to dictionary.com. Jacksonville traded that away to Baltimore for some draft picks. The bright side of left tackle Eugene Monroe going to the Ravens was that right tackle Luke Joeckel could replace him and play the position he was a natural at during his tenure at Texas A&M. The very next game against the Rams, Joeckel breaks his ankle and his out for the year, hope it was worth it, Jaguars!
When you are rebuilding a team or anything for that matter, you never really take away the base. Monroe was the only positive on the line, yet ironically the team felt it was ideal to get rid of their only asset.
Well, what’s left of this dismantled, coreless line without a base? The aging Brad Meester who has spent all of his fourteen year career on the team and is on the downside of his career. The guards are Uche Nwaneri at the right and Will Rackley at the left. Both have both spent consecutive years starting on the team, but have yet to shown why next year that should not change. Cameron Bradfield is now the left tackle replacement with Austin Paztor on the other side.
For a team that currently allows a little over three sacks per game, it is hard to believe that the backup tackles who are now the starters could be considered an improvement to stop the three sacks per game rate. And don't tell me the team didn't look awkward without their lone anchor in Monroe out there on the left side against the Rams for the first time. The quarterback and Joeckel did not stand up long at all with the first quarter injury.
“Being on this side felt comfortable and I only got a quarter with it. That was probably the hardest part; not being able to help my team out at the left and being out for however long I’ll be out, my set felt better. Hopefully this is just a bump in the road into a successful career. It’s part of the sport. I love this game and it’s part of the game and I’ll come back and get better….” Joeckel said in an interview on the team’s website.
All the Jags can do now is hope that their big second overall pick is worth losing their former first round pick in Monroe, who is already proven. Earlier this year when I discussed the possibility of the Jaguars shopping that second overall pick to gain more picks seems to make me look like a fortune teller, or a distant cousin of Ms. Cleo at least, because right now the team can say they practically obtained nothing from the 2013 first round pick.
The Browns do not look too shabby as they still have draft picks in their pocket from the Redskins trade for Robert Griffin III when they traded their second overall pick from the 2012 draft. In the end, fans of Jacksonville can only hope Joeckel comes back better and the players acquired through the Monroe trade are really worth it.