Even though the Jaguars have done a lot to give the team a face lift, there are still a lot of pressing needs that the Jaguars have to address if they’re hoping for anything else besides the accomplishment of a winning season.
1. Depth at Quarterback
Yes, this is the number one need. Why? There is doubt about David Garrard after last year’s performance. However, if Garrard goes down for an extended period of time, the team would be crippled. The two backups the Jaguars have are Cleo Lemon and Todd Bouman.
One almost had a winless season, the other joined the league before Google was a website.
Bouman may not lose the game for the Jaguars (which is all you can really ask a backup quarterback to do) but he certainly wouldn’t be able to lead the Jaguars to successive wins. I don’t think Lemon would be able to do either task based on his performance with the Miami Dolphins.
The Jaguars used to have fantastic depth at quarterback when Byron Leftwich was the starter, Garrard was the second stringer and Quinn Grey stood at third. Garrard deserves to have that kind of depth behind him as well. The Jaguars could pick up some one like Rex Grossman, who has starter experience and has local appeal as a former Gator quarterback.
2. A Defensive Tackle for the future
John Henderson is getting older and last season he didn’t perform as well as he did in years past. The Jaguars picked up Terrance Knighton in the third round to help with this problem. He will be able to learn under some one like Henderson and eventually be able to take on his duties full time when Henderson’s time with the Jaguars is done.
However, the Jaguars still need to replace Marcus Stroud and Knighton can’t be both Henderson and Stroud. They need some one to complete their 4-3 defensive line for years to come and if they can’t find some one this off season expect the Jaguars to draft a defensive tackle in the 2010 draft.
3. Wide Receiver
Yes, this all the way at number three. It has been a need for so long that it is hard to believe it isn’t the most important.
A team can operate without a stand out receiver. It won’t be flashy. It may not be fun to watch sometimes. But it can operate. It can win games. That is why in the best-available draft philosophy, Eugene Monroe gets picked over Michael Crabtree.
It is still a need, though. The Jaguars might have addressed it with a diamond in the rough in one of the six wide receiver rookies they have on their roster. They also might have addressed it with Torry Holt but there still needs to be a long term solution.
We won’t really know if this need has been resolved until the season gets underway and the rookies get to show the world what their made of. Until then, the Jaguars are stuck in a perpetual state of chasing the ghosts of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell.