[Editor Note: I am amazed that the Jaguars have international fans and that they are so knowledgeable. Here is Fabio's take on the offense. I hope we hear from him again.]
Offensive line: If there’s one position that Gene Smith will try to avoid drafting in the first round is offensive tackle. Let’s be clear: Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton are the present and the future. I like Eben more, because of what Jeff Lageman has said about him. Hard worker, down to earth guy. I know Terry loves Eugene, but he still seems a little stiff sometimes.
On the inside, it seems the team loves Uche Nwaneri, so they will keep him as a starter, for sure. Also Vince Manuwai will be given another season to get stronger after blowing his ACL in 2008. But if he continues to get worse, he could be gone at the end of next season.
Brad Meester is one of the team’s most deteriorated players, and will likely be cut. That’s sad because he’s one heck of a guy and the longest tenured Jaguar.
The team likes Jordan Black, while Tra Thomas seems to be gone. The team needs a new starter at center or guard, depending if they move Uche to the middle. Another backup tackle late in the draft or in free agency isn’t out of the question.
Quarterback: First, I want to say that Luke McCown is not good. He’s a third quarterback in his best days.
David Garrard will be the starter, in what could be his last season with the Jaguars. It’s nothing earth shattering to say that he’s a middle of the road quarterback. Still, i think a team could win with him under center. Just not a team with a roster full of rookies.
One of the weaknesses of David during 2009 was his awful red zone play. His lack of TD passes in that area makes the team rely too much in MJD, and at the end of the season that hurt the team (see goal line stand by the Texans and the Dolphins game as examples)
Well, in the end Jaguars MUST draft a quarterback in the Draft, perhaps in the third round if Gene Smith can fit him there.
The rest: If Torry Holt isn’t brought back, the Jaguars could add another veteran wide receiver. Mike Thomas will be an elite player in the future, but we could bring a couple of cheap veterans to compete with the young guys. Troy Williamson is another option, but seems made of glass. However he had a nice preseason, leading the league in yards.
Getting another running back isn’t critical because of MJD and Rashad Jennings. However both positions could be addressed late in the draft.
Tight endis the area with most depth, with Marcedes Lewis and Zach Miller likely developing into the top blocking-receiving combo in the NFL. Adam Podlesh had a nice end of the season, while Josh Scobee needs to improve between 40 and 49 yards, the range that defines great kickers. I think both will have to face some veteran competition in training camp. Montell Owens and William Middleton are keepers in a pretty solid coverage unit on Special Teams.
Bottom line: Tra Thomas, Meester, Ingram, Nelson, Wilford, Groves and even Torry Holt and other veterans like Ellison, Stanley and Williamson could be gone at the start of the 2010 regular season.
The Jaguars need a couple of defensive ends, two defensive tackles, a linebacker, a quarterback of the future, two players on the offensive line, and more depth at corner-back, running back, safety and perhaps wide receiver. It seems like a lot, but all teams have that many holes at the end of the season, with age and injuries crippling roster league wide.
In 2010, Gene Smith will have to continue to work his magic. But I think if he can solidify the trenches, the Jaguars will be a playoff contender next season…and perhaps more
– Fabio Rios