As we continue the Team Needs series for the 2013 NFL Draft, we proceed to the team with the second overall pick; the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was another rough season in the River City that actually saw the team take yet another step back and led to the firing of head coach Mike Mularkey after just one season.
With continued rumors of the team’s imminent move to another city, fan support is at an all time low and installing a bigger scoreboard or a logo change is going to do very little to sustain attendance figures if the product on the field doesn’t get any better. There is plenty to fix, but let’s look at the most pressing needs for the Jaguars as the draft approaches.
Just as I said with Kansas City yesterday, when you’re picking this high in the draft, the need for a quarterback is usually pretty high. Blaine Gabbert got a second chance, but I’d be shocked to see him run out there again after losing his job due to performance to Chad Henne; who posted better numbers than Gabbert in four fewer games. If the Chiefs decide not to take Geno Smith first overall, Jacksonville could bite. But I think we’ll see them take the best available quarterback in round two or three.
Draft Possibilities: Matt Barkley, Tyler Bray
If the next franchise quarterback is drafted, finding a tackle better than Cameron Bradfield needs to be a priority. Why let another rookie become shell shocked from abuse after getting killed in the pocket because his tackle can’t protect him? If the best player in the draft, Luke Joeckel, is there at number two, Jacksonville should run to the podium to deliver their pick.
Draft Possibilities: Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson
Jeremy Mincey had a down year and the Jags posted the lowest sack total in the entire league in 2012. With not knowing what version of Mincey and Jason Babin they’ll get next year, this should be a position high on their board on draft day. If they pass on Joeckel, Damontre Moore would likely be the pick.
Draft Possibilities: Damontre Moore, Dion Jordan
With so many holes to fill, it’s unlikely that free agent Daryl Smith will return next year. After him, the pickings are slim as both Russell Allen and Julian Stanford were pretty awful. This is where almost every mock draft in the country has the Jags going by selecting Jarvis Jones. If the Chiefs do take a quarterback, the options will be endless for Jacksonville at number two.
Draft Possibilities: Jarvis Jones, Arthur Brown
As I highlighted yesterday, corner is likely going to be on every team needs list in this series. At a premium position in the league, you can never have too many. In Jacksonville’s case, some would argue that they don’t have any. William Middleton and Derek Cox are both free agents and Rashean Mathis looks about two years past retirement. The temptation to grab DeMarcus Milliner will be high, but too costly at number two overall. Still, he could be the guy in a trade down scenario.
Draft Possibilities: DeMarcus Milliner, Xavier Rhodes
Pretty much in the middle to lower rounds, I expect to see Jacksonville reconstruct most of the offensive line. If they grab a quarterback high in the draft or a trade or free agency they need to put together some guys who will keep him upright. Brad Meester is 36, Eben Britton played so poorly he lost his job to Mike Brewster, who was arguably worse, and we’ve already touched upon Cameron Bradfield.
With a new general manager and head coach, the Jags have to nail this second overall pick. They have a plethora of talent to choose from and glaring holes to fill, so no position would be a reach. But they can ill afford anymore Gene Smith type busts going forward.
Tagged with: 2013 NFL Draft, AFC, AFC South, Arthur Brown, Blaine Gabbert, Brad Meester, Cameron Bradfield, Chad Henne, Damontre Moore, Daryl Smith, DeMarcus Milliner, Derek Cox, Dion Jordan, Eben Britton, Gene Smith, Geno Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jarvis Jones, Jason Babin, Jeremy Mincey, Julian Stanford, Kansas City Chiefs, Lane Johnson, Luke Joeckel, Matt Barkley, Mike Brewster, Mike Mularkey, NFL Draft, Rashean Mathis, Russell Allen, Tyler Bray, William Middleton, Xavier Rhodes