Center Luke Fortner is a key player to watch this week for all the wrong reasons.
A rookie out of Kentucky, Fortner is one of two Jaguars players to not miss a single snap in 2022. The Jaguars desperately needed interior offensive line help, and they picked Fortner with the 65th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, Fortner has been more than a liability in his debut season.
He has the worst run-blocking and overall grades of any NFL center, according to PFF. His 19 pressures allowed also led all NFL centers, not a great sign for the rookie. These stats and scales can be swayed by singular games, but Fortner has not looked good at any point this season. He will not have an easy Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line.
The Chiefs’ defensive strength is their interior defensive line, led by All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones. He draws double teams against any opponent, but Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could manipulate Fortner as a weak spot. Plus, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders is looking better than ever, and he could likely handle Fortner on his own.
That is just for the pass rush. The Jaguars struggle in run blocking and in the run game overall. If the Jaguars do not help Fortner out on most plays, the Chiefs will exploit the rookie for all they can.