The Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback. Whether that is Blaine Gabbert stepping up in year three, Alex Smith coming over in free agency, or the Jags drafting a QB, quarterback help needs to come from somewhere. With quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo talking about the physical tools of Gabbert and the need to upgrade later when they can, it sounds like it could be tough to get a replacement quarterback for the 2013 season.
Daniel Lago thinks the Jags need quarterback, quarterback, and more quarterback for the 2013 season and I am inclined to agree that something needs to change at the position. Fortunately for us, back in October our own Brad Barrell outlined how and why the Jags need USC’s Matt Barkley. It’s a good article, seriously, give it a read again.
While I don’t think that Barkley is the epitome of what a quarterback should be, I do think that he can be had by the Jaguars for a song, relatively, in the 2013 draft. If Barkley is around at pick #33 or, God willing, the third round the Jags should think really hard about pulling the trigger. It’s almost as if Barkley is just playing with NFL teams. He would have been a for sure first round selection in 2012, but he decided to return for an underwhelming senior season at USC. Now, he won’t throw at the combine.
Is this guy intentionally hurting his draft stock?
Barkley has the physical tools of a top 10 pick. He has been criticized for his decision making at times and playing behind a suspect offensive line during the 2012 season didn’t help. While his decision making was actually better in 2012, at least from the opinion of Walter Football, it may not be enough for NFL teams to want to take a stab at him early in the draft. The Jags should take notice.
Just as Ryan Mallett fell to the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2011 draft, Barkley could find his way to the Jaguars as a third round selection. With other quarterbacks taking advantage of every opportunity to show off their skills, it will be curious to see just how much they rise above Barkley heading to the draft. Each year there are players who are always mentioned at the top of their position who fall below the upstart players getting massive attention following the senior bowl, combine, and pro days. All of that should be ignored and the Jags should keep their eye on Mallett to see if they can get a decent prototypical passer with the physical tools to push Gabbert or overtake him.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims