The quarterback crop is very deep this year. There are as many as 8 that could be drafted in the first two rounds. It is debatable on how many could go first. The wide thought is that there are as many as 2-6 that will go in the first round. The Jaguars are rumored to be high on Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick(click for more info), who is thought of as a 2nd round pick by most. Personally, I see him as a first and you can learn more about him here. There are a few others to consider: Ryan Mallett, Arkansas(click here for more); Christian Ponder, Florida State; Andy Dalton, TCU(click here for more). All of these guys are legit candidates. The main concerns are that Mallett has major off-the-field concerns. Ponder may be injury-prone and Dalton may have physical limitations (a la Drew Brees). The reason I have the percentage so low is that the QB is such a big decision and they may have them rated much higher, in which case there would no doubt be a QB taken, or they could have them on tiers below the linemen in order to take “safer” selections. Linemen have a much better hit rate than a QB that most likely would not even play this season. Letting the QB sit for a year is in the best long-term interest of the franchise.
One more guy to look at: Jake Locker, Washington(click for more info).
I would love for the Jaguars to pick up Jimmy Smith out of Colorado but he is most likely a character concern and will be red-flagged by the franchise and skipped over. The Jaguars probably do not have Aaron Williams of Texas rated as a top-20 player unless they are thinking of him at safety. This would be a change of position and I doubt that a player is rated top-20 before the switch of positions. The top 2 corners, Patrick Peterson of LSU and Prince Amukamara of Nebraska, will be gone by the 16th pick. You can bet on that. Thus, we have our low percentage.
Interior Offensive Line, Guards or Centers (4%)
This would be a low-risk pick for sure. I do not see it as something that is likely to happen due to the lack of depth at talent regarding the 16th pick. I lot of people are starting to see Mike Pouncey of Florida as a real option. His twin brother, Maurkice, was drafted as a center to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and went on to make the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. If the next Pouncey can make that impact, why not draft him? It’s a possibility, but we can work with what we have on the offensive line more so than the defensive line and I believe that the top-ranked defensive ends are better than the top-ranked offensive linemen whether it be tackle, guard, or center. Keep an eye on Rodeney Hudson, a guard from Florida State. He’s a second round guy Gene should like.
I had to give it something. The only safety that will have legit consideration at this point is Rahim Moore of UCLA. Personally, I just don’t have him as a top-20 pick and with the Jaguars picking 16th, it makes no sense. Never rule out that Gene Smith, the General Manager, sees something in someone that no one else does. He may know someone I’ve never heard of and could draft them this high. However, you can tell by my percentage that I doubt we see a safety drafted by the Jags this high.
Wide Receiver (0%)
Gene will find someone later to make a difference. He’s building inside-out. This means pay attention to your lines and then anything after that. Football is won in the trenches. However, if you want a WR to watch for, Leonard Hankerson of Miami (The U) is a WR that could make a big difference and be had in the second round.