The learning curve from a Division II or Division III school into the NFL can be overwhelming for some college prospects. A lot of the time players don't pan out, because the talent at the NFL level is just too superior. Sometimes, it takes a couple years for these players to grasp the nature of the game at the pro level. That could be the case with guard Will Rackley. The 2011 third round pick of the Jaguars graduated from Lehigh University, and is going into his second year with the team.
Last year, Rackley was an immediate starter at the left guard spot, which allowed an abysmal 40 sacks on the year. Some of them were Gabbert's fault, some of them were coverage sacks, and some of them was the offensive line getting flat out beat. However, all of that said, he was still a part of the offensive line that helped Maurice Jones-Drew win the NFL Rushing Title with 1,6006 yards. I tend to think a guy like Rackley will have a better year in pass protection in 2012 though, and that's good news for Blaine Gabbert. I asked Shane Hallam of Draftcountdown.com who he thought was a potential breakout player for the Jaguars this year, and he responded via Twitter. (Continue reading this post…)
At Lehigh Rackley was primarily a left tackle, so he had to get well adjusted to playing full time guard at the pro level. He also wore a protective club on his left hand for some of the season, because of an apparent finger injury. With an aging Brad Meester, Will Rackley and Uche Nwaneri are the young bloods of the interior line.
Will Rackley's head should be spinning a little less, now that he has a full year under his belt. A healthy back Eben Britton at right tackle, as well as a steadily improving Rackley up the middle should surely help the NFL's worst passing offense from a year ago.
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