The Jacksonville Jaguars have a few major needs on their roster. Ok, maybe more than a few. They have complete voids at right tackle, cornerback, and strong safety, and needs at left guard and quarterback and a likely hole at linebacker. This doesn’t bode well for a team trying to reinvent itself. Seemingly lost in the discussion of the absolute holes on the roster is quarterback.
The calls for West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the draft are not nearly as boisterous as they were when draft talk started in December and January. With the Alex Smith trade to Kansas City, the Jaguars are no longer in a position to bargain for a quarterback with at least above average competencies. The team continues to talk as though Blaine Gabbert has a chance to become the quarterback we all hoped he could be. Yet, based on the 2012 season, the Jaguars are likely to have a serious quarterback deficiency. Again.
Despite all of this, general manager Dave Caldwell says the Jags aren’t yet in the “desperate” category as regards quarterback options. In an interview with Sports Final Radio recently, Caldwell talked about quarterbacks going in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Of those four or five teams that need [quarterbacks], I’d say that two or three teams really need them desperately. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you see maybe one go early and then maybe one go mid-later first round.
Caldwell was then asked if the Jaguars fell into the desperate category. Caldwell laughed it off and said, “I was talking about the other teams.”
The Jaguars organization really does seem willing to give Gabbert a shot at being the team’s starter moving forward. I tink it is part of their evaluation process. They will be using the 2013 season as a final evaluation of what they have at quarterback. If Gabbert makes strides, I think the Jags can safely say they were wise to not act in a desperate way as regards quarterback this offseason. If Gabbert falters, the team will have some strong potential replacements in the 2014 offseason.
I hope that Gabbert proves us all wrong and becomes the quarterback we hope he can be. I’m not confident, however, and think the evaluation 2013 season may be a tumultuous one for us fans. The coach-speak says we’re not desperate, but I think we all know better. Buckle up guys, this one could get bumpy.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims