With Rio Ferdinand confirming his international retirement, and John Terry seemingly out of the equation for good, Hodgson now has a pool of five defenders from which he must mould a centre-half pairing that is good enough to perform at the World Cup.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have struggled with injury this season and Joleon Lescott has not played regularly at Manchester City, leaving Jagielka and Chelsea's Gary Cahill as the front-runners for the two vacant spots.
Jagielka is probably in pole position because he has had yet another excellent season at Everton.
The 30-year-old has not played for his country since October due to injury, however, and given that Hodgson has rotated his squad so much - he has used six different defensive pairings in the last eight games - the Everton defender knows his ticket to Rio 2014 is far from assured.
"We don't really know what the starting XI will be so it's all about putting down a marker this week," said Jagielka ahead of England's friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
"Obviously they can look at your club form before that, but this is the time to impress the manager and the coaching staff.
"There are no points available, but I'm sure everyone will be trying to cement their place ahead of the games in August and September.
"Previous players nailed down that position for three or four years so it will be interesting.
"I'm sure Hodgson is looking at the mixture of defenders or partnerships that he might have.
"Hopefully I am in the mix and I might get a few run outs."
Although Ferdinand has not played for England for just under two years, the fact he had not officially announced his international retirement until earlier this month meant he was always a talking point whenever Hodgson named his squads.
The four England players in Hodgson's current party have just 60 caps between them, but Jagielka thinks every one of them is competent enough to form part of the team's backbone at next year's World Cup - should they qualify.
He added: "That shows the strength in depth we have at centre-half.
"I suppose it does feel a bit like the start of a new era.
"I don't think Rio and JT have played for England for a while now so you could argue that the a new era started months ago.
"There is a good blend between youth and older players, so it will be nice for us to have the start of a great new era and hopefully we can progress as a team."
This is the first time Jagielka has joined the England camp without David Moyes as his club manager.
The Scot's 11-year reign at Goodison Park came to an end earlier this month when he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Uncertainty continues to surround who will replace the former Preston boss, although Roberto Martinez has been strongly linked with the position.
Jagielka reaffirmed his commitment to Everton today and he is sure he will be able to forget the events of the last few weeks and fully concentrate on England duties this week.
"I definitely see my future at Everton," he said.
"I was made captain for next season when David Moyes was in charge. Hopefully the new manager will keep me in that role.
"I'm away with England now so I'll look forward to these games then hopefully we will have a new manager when I report back."
Much has been made of England's visit to Rio at the weekend, but because of the history between the two countries Wednesday's fixture against Giovanni Trapattoni's team promises to be a feisty affair.
"Sometimes when you get friendlies they are more like testimonials, but I'm pretty sure that between England and Ireland it won't be the case," Jagielka said.
Hodgson must make several big decisions before then, most notably on the England captaincy.
Ashley Cole is expected to be asked if he would like to captain the team in recognition of the fact that he reached 100 caps against Brazil, although it is unknown whether he will accept the offer.
If he does not, Frank Lampard is likely to skipper the side, although Wayne Rooney is another option.
Right-back Kyle Walker was today ruled out of the two upcoming games with a leg injury.