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'15 NFL Draft: Cann analysis


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' offensive line keeps getting deeper and deeper.

It continues to change shape and size, too.

That was a significant theme following the Jaguars' third-round selection on Friday night, with the team using the No. 67 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft to select South Carolina offensive guard A.J. Cann.

"He's stout and he's strong – he may be a little shorter than the other guys, but he's got a good base," Caldwell said of Cann.

Cann (6-feet-4, 313 pounds), a four-year starter for the Gamecocks, became the third starting-level player added to the Jaguars' offensive line – a group that contributed to the team allowing 71 sacks last season – since the start of the new league year.

The team signed offensive tackle Jermey Parnell in the first wave of unrestricted free agency in early March. The Jaguars also signed center Stefen Wisniewski in free agency, and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said after the Cann selection that the Jaguars' offensive line was gearing toward a bigger, more physical unit.

"I'd say that size has become more of an issue for us," Bradley said. "We're looking for guys who have a little more size. Across the board, I think we're getting bigger."

Caldwell and Bradley each said the Jaguars liked Cann's versatility, and each said Cann's best position is the left guard position.

That position was played by veteran Zane Beadles last season. Beadles signed as an unrestricted free agent before last season, and said early this offseason that while he struggled to adjust at times early in his first season with the Jaguars he improved late in the season.

Caldwell had said shortly after the season that Beadles improved late in the year, and Bradley said he didn't consider Cann's selection a "wake-up call for Beadles."

"I don't know if I'd call it a so-called wakeup call," Bradley said. "I think he went through the season and didn't play as well as he hoped. He knows what he needs to do, just play more consistent. …"

Bradley emphasized Cann's ability to play both guard positions and Caldwell said he could potentially play center sometime in the future. Caldwell said he feels like the offensive line is now pretty versatile, with most of the front-line players able to play in any scheme.

"For us, the versatility came back when we saw him on tape," Bradley said. "I think that's what we came back to."

The Jaguars did not visit bring Cann in for a pre-draft visit, but they visited with him at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

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