The reconstruction of the Jaguars offensive line officially began with the team's second-round draft choice, Arizona tackle Eben Britton, who Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said will be given a chance to compete for a starting job at right tackle or right guard.
"I think there's room for him. If there wasn't, then the question would be warranted," Del Rio said when asked if the selection of Britton should be viewed as a surprise. "We just made the (offensive line) more competitive."
That's what the Jaguars did on Saturday by selecting offensive tackles with their first two picks of the 2009 NFL draft. First-round pick Eugene Monroe and Britton would seem to be the foundation on which the Jaguars offensive line of the future will be built.
"Committed to being stronger," Del Rio said when asked what message the selections of Monroe and Britton sends. "We talked about wanting to add healthy bodies to the trenches. I think we fortified the trenches.
"I think he can slide in and play guard. He's a smart, mature guy, one of the better interviews we had," Del Rio added.
Britton is a highly-motivated player and he made that clear to the media in a spirited question and answer session.
"I couldn't be happier. Every team that passed on me is going to regret it," he said. "I'm going to work my (butt) off to be a Jacksonville Jaguar," Britton said.
He spoke of having a chip on his shoulder since his youth, the result of divorce and subsequently moving from New York to Los Angeles.
"When that first game comes, somebody is going to pay for it," Britton said. "People told me I wasn't big enough, I wasn't strong enough. That all ends today."
At 6-5, 317, Britton has certainly grown to be big enough and his career goals are even bigger.
"There's nobody in this draft that has a bigger heart than I do. I'm so fired up to be a Jacksonville Jaguar you can't even believe it."
Clearly, he's won the interview part of the competition. Beginning in next weekend's mini-camp, he'll start the on-the-field competition against incumbent right tackle Tony Pashos.
"It's always open competition. The best guys are always going to play. We'll let that stuff sort itself out on the football field," Del Rio said of job competition on the offensive line.