Other than Myles Jack and Joe Schobert, the Jacksonville Jaguars have unsurprisingly been mostly an afterthought in ESPN's rankings of the top players at each position entering 2021. But even so, the team still had one notable surprise appearance on the latest update of the rankings, which is voted on by players, coaches and executives.
In ESPN's ranking of the best offensive tackles entering next season, Jaguars' left tackle Cam Robinson was included with the 'honorable mention' group that also included Carolina Panthers' tackle Taylor Moton, Indianapolis Colts' tackle Braden Smith and Detroit Lions' tackle Taylor Decker.
'Very talented but undisciplined," ESPN quoted a voter on Robinson.
Robinson was selected No. 34 overall in the second round in 2017, the second draft pick of the Tom Coughlin front office era. He started 18 games for the Jaguars at left tackle as a rookie (three postseason).
Robinson played just two games in 2018 due to a season-ending ACL injury, but he recovered in time to play in Week 3 in the following season. Since then, Robinson has started 30-of-30 games at left tackle.
Robinson is a bit of a surprise selection for the honorable mention list, but it isn't a stretch to think he has his fair share of supporters throughout the league. The former second-rounder has plenty of starting experience and is a gifted run-blocker, with the Jaguars placing the franchise tag on him this March in hopes of him taking the next step as a pass blocker in 2021.
"From a run standpoint, I really can’t [complain] about any of our guys and how we approach it. I’m of the belief that there [are] very few teams, if we decide that we want to hand a ball off, are going to stop us from running the ball," Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop said during minicamp.
"But where we struggled last year at times was in pass protection. And that’s a technique issue and a consistency issue. And that’s been addressed and will continue to be addressed, those guys know it. It’s something that we’re not shying away from, so it’ll get better.”
Robinson's franchise tag makes him one of the offense's highest-paid players and gives him a cap hit ($13,754,000) that is tied for fourth-most among all offensive tackles in 2021, according to Spotrac. The Jaguars invested a great deal in Robinson for 2021, and now the next 17 games will determine what the next potential investment in Robinson may look like.
“We feel that the way this free agency is moving, is that left tackle position—as always—but even more now this year from hearing from the guys who've been in an NFL, this is a tough year for that left tackle position, and we feel just what's out there, and with coaching, culture and development, Cam, Cam has a lot of talent," Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said in March when the Jaguars franchise-tagged Robinson.
The Jaguars drafted a left tackle at No. 45 overall in Stanford's Walker Little, but Robinson is still the projected starter at left tackle for 2021. For now, it will be up to Robinson to prove the Jaguars and his peers right about his talent and potential.