Jaguars Mailbag: How will Grant be used? How does using Linder at guard impact the offensive line?

The Jaguars are shuffling the offensive line, beat writer Mike Kaye explains the motive behind the move

With the Jaguars kicking off their third week of organized team activities, the Monday Mailbag features questions about the running game, the shuffling of the offensive line and the roster's Pro Bowl potential.

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Jake asks: How do you see the Jaguars using Corey Grant this year?

MK: With first-round pick Leonard Fournette likely to receive the bulk of the carries this season, spare touches will be limited for Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant. 

The third member of that depth trio was able to produce when given the opportunity at the end of last season. Grant had 20 touches for 137 total yards and a rushing touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17. He averaged more than five yards per carry last season.

Grant played well on special teams last season and also has kick return ability. I think he makes a lot of sense as a gunner on special teams and as a speed option to sprinkle in once or twice per game on offense.

The Jaguars' brass has alluded to Ivory being Fournette's tag team partner early on. General Manager Dave Caldwell has endorsed Yeldon as a talented blocker and receiver out of the backfield. That means Grant will have an uphill battle to fight for playing time this offseason.

For what it's worth, Grant's skill set differs from the three guys ahead of him on the depth chart. If the Jaguars keep four running backs, Grant will likely be active on game days, due to his special teams prowess. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett could then create a package of plays for the speedster in the running game.

 

@EverydayJaguarsFan asks: Do you think that Brandon Linder taking snaps at guard at OTAs is a hint at moving him to guard or about Doug Marrone testing others at centers?

MK: I think it's a bit of both. 

Linder has proven to be a very capable center and right guard. Marrone knows he can play both positions at a high level.

He also knows he has veterans like Patrick Omameh and Earl Watford, who can start at guard if Linder keeps the center job.

However, at center, there are a lot of question marks in the depth department. Tyler Shatley was up and down when filling in for Linder last season, Luke Bowanko has dealt with injuries for two years and Chris Reed has mostly focused on the guard position. 

The Jaguars want to have the best lineup possible, so it would behoove them to figure out who can play different positions long-term. Linder is proven at two positions, which gives the Jaguars options. 

If the Jaguars deem that Shatley or Bowanko would be a stronger option at center than Omameh or Watford would be at guard, Linder can move. The best lineup is the goal.

 

Jacob Neville asks: Other than Allen Robinson, who on the Jaguars' roster is most likely to make the Pro Bowl this year?

MK: I can think of three players: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Malik Jackson.

Ramsey needs to continue to build on his strong rookie year, Bouye needs to build on his fantastic first year as a full-time starter and Jackson is a guy that just seems poised for a big year.

With Ramsey and Bouye teaming up, they should get some pretty good matchups and have more opportunities at interceptions. An upgraded coverage unit should allow Jackson to get to opposing quarterbacks more often.

Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Brandon Linder and Telvin Smith are other names to consider.

 

Jeremy Kespohl asks: What are the chances of the Jaguars adding another free agent like Gary Barnidge or Nick Mangold?

MK: I think it's a matter of timing.

The Jaguars want to see what they have at center and tight end with several young players already on the roster. 

On the flip side, Mangold and Barnidge have been in this league for a while and know what they are doing. There is no need to rush a signing before training camp. 

Of the two, Barnidge makes the most sense. I think Linder is a better option at center than Mangold is at this point.

Barnidge is a local guy who has reportedly drawn interest from Jacksonville. We shall see how things play out over the next few weeks.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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