The draft is only two months away, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are poised to pounce on the market and draft their future in May. Jacksonville sputtered early in the season, being the only team without a win half way through the year. After their bye week, it seemed as if Bradley sparked some life in his struggling crew, picking up four wins out of their final eight games of the season. A final record of 4-12 does not exactly inspire hope in many, but for the Jaguars it showed much-needed improvement from the group and hope that the Florida based franchise could be on the rise as soon as this year. The NFL Draft Daily will look into their future draft implications and review positions the Jaguars may need to help them succeed in the AFC South division.
The quarterback situation has been one position even their owner, Shad Khan, could not ignore stating Jacksonville will plan to address the position once or twice throughout the draft. Blaine Gabbert has not been the answer since they drafted him out of Missouri in the first round in 2011, and Chad Henne is served best as the back up to a young quarterback. Other positions on the offensive side of the ball needing addressed are the guard positions and also their wide receiver position, as their young potential star, Justin Blackmon, cannot seem to stay out of trouble with the league. On defense for the Jaguars they could use a dynamic edge rusher and would not hesitate to pull the trigger if someone like Jadeveon Clowney dropped to them at the third pick. Other positions of need could also be running back with Jones-Drew possibly leaving in free agency, and another partner in crime in the defensive backfield with Johnathan Cyprien.
With positions on defense and wide receiver being deep in the draft, and no running back being worthy of a first round pick; the Jaguars have to find their franchise quarterback. In the NFL Draft Daily’s previous articles, Jadeveon Clowney possibly will go number one to the Texans. Leaving the rising Khalil Mack as the only other dynamic pass rusher worthy of the third pick in the draft. Reports coming out of Jaguars camp is that they have high praise of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is arguably the most accurate quarterback coming out of the draft, and the most NFL ready to start. Coming out of a pro style system in college with the Cardinals, Bridgewater is already a step ahead on the language used in the league and may warrant a pick early with quarterback needy teams right behind the Jaguars in the draft. A few knocks on Teddy are his deep ball accuracy and arm strength, he has been short on the deep ball numerous times and has problems putting it on the wide receiver in stride. Another issue of his is how slim his body is built. Bridewater proved at the combine he has already been working on his mass, bulking up nine pounds more than his playing weight last season.
The Jaguars have quite a bit of salary cap space heading into free agency so it will be interesting to see how they approach their season. According to experts on ESPN the Jacksonville has more the $50 million in cap space and could use these funds to solve issues on the offensive line, defense, and maybe a running back if they feel there is one worth spending some money on. Look for the Jaguars to solve their quarterback riddle in the draft as the NFL Draft Daily predicts their man is Louisville’s own, Teddy Bridgewater. Second round look for Jacksonville to look deep into the depth at the wide receiver position with multiple talented receivers waiting in the wings. Players like Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry, and Allen Robinson may be available in the second round for the Jaguars. With a high draft pick and the third largest salary cap available in the league, the jags are poised to pounce this year.
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
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