The review for the Jags may be quick and very simple for the NFL Draft Daily. The best advice is to sign anyone and everyone for the Jags! Realistically though, the Jaguars are looking at about $60 million in cap space to spend with their recent cuts, and may be looking at just about every position available in both the draft and free agency. The Jaguars finished 4-12 last year and have not fared well in recent years in the AFC South. Fortunately for them though, there is potentially only one franchise quarterback on a team in their division; leaving plenty of opportunity for Jacksonville to catch up to the rest of the division quickly. Their defense was much improved the last eight games of the season, pumping fuel into a fiery fan base hoping their defensive minded coach can produce a top-notch crew in the very near future. As the defense improves, the offense is still one step behind, and the Jaguars will need their potential free agents to be on the ball for the team to succeed next season.
Quarterback is obviously a position being heavily monitored in the Jacksonville area, but all rumors have the Jaguars taking care of that need early in the draft. The offensive line was a leaking faucet last year, ranking in the bottom half of the league in rushing offense, and allowed numerous hits on the quarterbacks throughout the whole year. The left tackle position will be held down by last years first round pick, Luke Joeckel, but besides that; the whole offensive line may see new faces in the starting lineup. The offense could also look into signing a running back and also another wide receiver. Their star running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, is not expected back as he enters free agency; and troubled wide receiver, Justin Blackmon, has yet to be reinstated by the NFL with substance abuse issues. On defense a premium pass rusher would be welcomed by Gus Bradley’s crew, Jason Babin led the team with 7.5 sacks on the season last year. If Jadeveon Clowney is available at the third pick in the draft the Jaguars may pounce on the opportunity to bring the freak athlete to Jacksonville; but they cannot count on the best player in the draft being available when they are on the clock.
Potential free agents on the offensive line for the Jaguars to check out are center, Ryan Wendell or guard, Geoff Schwartz; which would provide adequate blocking on the interior offensive line positions for the Jaguars. If Jones-Drew does decide to depart from Jacksonville, do not be surprised to see if they bring a former foe on to the team. Ben Tate is considered one of the best free agent running backs available who is still young enough to carry the full work load, and has very low mileage on his tires; he spent his whole career spelling the Houston Texans premier running back, Arian Foster. Also it might be worth noting, that for the right amount of money, Michael Bennett may be interested in joining forces with Gus Bradley; who used to be a former defensive coordinator for Bennett’s most recent team, the Seattle Seahawks. Jaguars also seem interested in bringing back some of their own for the right price. Free agent quarterback, Chad Henne, would be a good back up quarterback for their quarterback of the future. Another free agent who played well for the Jaguars was Will Blackmon, who may come at a decent price if Jacksonville chooses to bring him back. With all the cap room they have to spend, The NFL Draft Daily predicts the Jaguars will still have somewhat of a quiet off-season. Signing players for positions of need and choosing to use the draft to find their future impact players. Jacksonville may come out swinging as it has been hard to tell which direction they may go. So expect the unexpected from the Jaguars until it is all said and done.
This article is one in a series, published daily, which provides analysis, insight, and predictions leading up to the NFL draft and beyond.
Commentary by Justin Huffman