There are the likely targets and then there are guys who are often overlooked. In a free agent class that has extensive options at cornerback and right tackle (for an in-depth list, check this out), the Jaguars could be set to pick up some quality players this offseason. But let’s dig even deeper. Who are the players who will be overlooked or underrated so much that they could be the hidden gems of this year’s free agency market? These aren’t your Eric Winstons, but maybe one of them ends up in Black and Teal for the 2013 season.
Josh Johnson, QB
- As Jason points out in his free agency targets, Johnson can provide the Jaguars with a more mobile option in the open competition to find a starting quarterback. The Jaguars need someone to push Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne and bringing in someone young like Johnson could be a good alternative to the establish and underachieving pair. He would be a dynamic change to the pocket passers that Henne and Gabbert are. He has been with Tampa Bay and Cleveland and could be worth a shot.
Darius Reynaud, WR/KR
- Remember that guy that returned two punts for touchdowns against the Jaguars in the final game of the season? He’s on the free market. Reynaud would be a massive upgrade over players like Quin Cosby. He had three returns for touchdowns in total from 2012 and is a returner on the rise. He likely will be a cheap option as he is more of a return specialist than a wide receiver.
Chad Rinehart, G
- The Jags will either be in the market for a guard or they are going to draft one. Rinehart, playing as a backup with the Bills, could easily fill the void for the Jaguars and be an immediate upgrade. He isn’t going to be a potential Hall of Famer like Chance Warmack, but if the Jags opt to pick up a player that they won’t have to spend much money on, Rinehart could be their guy. He has allowed only 13 hurries, three hits, and one sack in 1,474 snaps.
These three guys could be immediate contributors for the Jags, even if they aren’t the best players available. Expect Reynaud to get some interest whine Rinhart and Johnson could fall to the Jaguars after the first couple waves of free agency are over. For a team that really needs quality pieces at cornerback, right tackle, and defensive end, picking these players in free agency could free up picks in rounds 1-3 to fill those voids.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims