Both Sports Illustrated and NFL.com posted post-combine mock drafts today. They also both predicted that the Jaguars, with the eighth overall pick, will draft a quarterback. However, they did not agree on which quarterback the Jaguars would select.
Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking. There is not only one but two possible quarterbacks the Jaguars could pick up instead of addressing critical needs? Really?
Sports Illustrated had the Jaguars picking up Mark Sanchez out of USC. I am not shocked to see some one predicting us to draft a guy out of USC, especially when you consider the stock they have put up this year. However… their quarterback? Really? What is the reasoning?
Don’t be shocked if the Jaguars take a quarterback, because after David Garrard‘s so-so 2008 season, he’s far from untouchable as Jacksonville’s starter. I talked with someone within the league Tuesday who assured me the Jaguars have Sanchez graded higher than Georgia’s Matthew Stafford, even though most personnel men have them the other way around. The Jags’ minds could change after Stafford throws at his pro day, but for now we’re sticking with Sanchez.
NFL.com apparently does not have the same source as Sports Illustrated. They have the Jaguars picking up Matthew Stafford out of Georgia. They at least give a more legitimate reason:
The Jaguars were probably thinking they had a shot at Mark Sanchez, but it’s possible Stafford slides to the No. 8 spot. If the quarterbacks are gone, then Jacksonville could take a left tackle like Andre Smith or Michael Oher. Stafford would not have to take the field for a year or two while David Garrard runs the offense, which would be ideal for the Georgia star, who would become a fan favorite in a city right on the Georgia border.
They say the reasoning is so they could train Stafford to eventually replace Garrard. However, last year the biggest criticism of Derrick Harvey was that he didn’t stat enough. You draft people in the first round to become starters, not to train them to eventually one day become starters. A top ten draft pick demands a lot of money (thank you Harvey for reminding us of that) and you don’t want that money wasting away on the bench.
If anything, it would tickle my fancy to see Gator fans forced to root for a Georgia quarterback. Gator fans have been spoiled in the past two years as Jacksonville spent two first round picks on Florida defensive players. I know college doesn’t matter when you get to the pros but “Jagators” have been having their cake and eating it too for the past few years.
There is something I would like to address here though. There are many people who doubted David Garrard’s performance last year. You know what would have helped Garrard? Wide receivers who didn’t drop the ball and an offensive line that he could trust to protect him. David Garrard was the most roughed up quarterback in the league last year (yes, even more so than Big Ben) and his wide receiver corps dropped more balls than anyone else in the NFL. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco would not have seen the success they did if they had not had the support from the rest of the team. If you put a rookie quarterback behind our offensive line, they would turn into the next David Carr.
I think there are far too many needs that have to be addressed in the now. It is great that some teams can plan in the future. We are not one of those teams. When you have a top ten pick you obviously having pressing issues that need to be fixed. I highly suspect that the Jaguars will trade down in order to get more picks because there are only so many needs free agency can address.