Jaguars Mailbag: What does cutting Allen mean for Jacksonville? Is guard still an area for upgrades?

Entering Week 1 of the regular season, this edition of the Jaguars Mailbag features questions about Brandon Allen, the offensive line and linebacker depth.

Rochadd asks: What do you think about the Jaguars cutting Brandon Allen?

Mike Kaye: I think the Jaguars have a lot of issues outside of the third-string quarterback spot. That said, Allen showed enough during the offseason that I felt he was more deserving of a roster spot than some others.

The Jaguars decided to keep six cornerbacks. SIX! Perhaps that's a reflection of the level of concern regarding the health of the top trio or it's more about the lack of proven depth behind them.

Rookie cornerback Jalen Myrick wasn't kept based on offseason merit. He stuck to the roster based on potential.

Third-string quarterbacks rarely ever play, but with Blake Bortles' fifth contract year only being guaranteed for injury, the incumbent starter could get pulled from the lineup if he and/or the Jaguars struggle early on.

That would mean Chad Henne or someone else would need to start. Either way, the Jaguars would need to house two quarterbacks not named Bortles on the active roster.

The Jaguars could always add a third quarterback to the practice squad. If Allen passes through waivers unclaimed, the Jaguars could stash him on the practice roster. If that were to happen, the hysteria regarding Allen's departure would become moot.

Still, there's a chance a team puts in a claim for Allen. He moved the ball very well during the preseason and his mistakes seem easy to correct with coaching.

UPDATE: Allen was claimed by the Los Angeles Rams Monday afternoon.

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Demetrius asks: Do you think the Jaguars make a move guard?

MK: It's hard to gauge. The Jaguars have been extremely patient with their offensive line this offseason.

Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty is one of the best position coaches in the entire league and the Jaguars are likely banking on his experience and talent to mend the woes of the line during the regular season. 

Alex Boone is a veteran who has found a lot of success in the NFL. The 30-year-old was surprisingly cut by the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. He started 14 games at left guard in his lone season in Minnesota.

Boone would be an immediate upgrade over the likes of Patrick Omameh and Tyler Shatley at this point. He has started 73 games during his time in the league.

John Greco is another guard who would make sense for the Jaguars. He is entering his 10th season in the league and has started 70 games. He was a full-time starter for the Cleveland Browns over the last four seasons but was released this past weekend.

The 32-year-old could be a stopgap left guard for a Jaguars team that badly needs some new faces. I think the biggest issue with the offensive line is that it features just three new players with only one serving as a starter.

The Jaguars' offensive line has been bad for the last three or four years.

 

@Jagman13 asks: Can you make sense of the Hayes Pullard release?

MK: It's definitely a confusing move on the surface. Pullard was the lone experienced 4-3 linebacker in a depth role on the Jaguars' roster as of Saturday. He was gone on Sunday afternoon.

Lerentee McCray is a journeyman veteran, but he is also inexperienced when it comes to playing a stack linebacker in an even front. Both Blair Brown and Donald Payne (claimed off waivers Sunday) are rookies. The inexperience behind Telvin Smith (WILL), Paul Posluszny (MIKE) and Myles Jack (SAM) is concerning.

If one of the starters went done early in Week 1, they would basically be relying on a backup to fill a spot that they are still trying to figure out. 

Pullard was capable of backing up the weak-side and middle linebacker spots. He had been here for two years and was a standout on special teams. He was the middle linebacker and called the plays for the defense throughout the preseason finale. 

The logic for the Jaguars could be that since they prepared Jack for middle linebacker work all offseason, he could fill in for Posluszny if the veteran suffered an injury. Jack could also play the WILL linebacker spot as well.

Jack's SAM linebacker position is typically a two-down spot, but he is playing all three downs already. Jack's replacement at SAM would either be McCray or Brown, with neither player seeing the field all that often.

Jack played SAM for most of last season and was only used on 22 percent of the defensive plays. It's a position where the Jaguars probably feel comfortable with using an inexperienced role player. 

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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