The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the market for a quarterback. They’ll take a starter but for now they will settle for anyone who can compete with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. If that quarterback can push either Henne or Gabbert to be successful, it will be well worth the draft pick. Well, apparently, this year’s crop of quarterbacks could be just what the doctor ordered to solve the Jaguars’ QB woes.
General manager Dave Caldwell told Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that, “Believe it or not, the quarterback group is better top to bottom than it has been in years past.” I’ll take Caldwell at his word. Combining this with what I know of Caldwell’s approach to drafting (need based) and I think the Jaguars are looking at a quarterback after the first round.
Caldwell has been generally favorable when discussing the Jaguars roster. He’s trimmed the fat and the players he doesn’t think are good contributors but he’s been talking up the pieces he’s kept. He likes Maurice Jones-Drew and Paul Posluszny and he sounds keen to see what Gabbert can do in his third year. Combine this with the fact that he’s talking up the draft class on the whole as being better than years past and I think the Jags will pass on a quarterback early.
“There are some good quarterbacks out there,” said offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch (emphasis added). “Take away last year because of the amount of guys that ended up starting and it’s going to be a quarterback class like most.” I think it’s key that Fisch noted that there are good quarterbacks and not that there was a good “quarterback” (no “s”) in this year’s draft.
There are a lot of quarterbacks the Jaguars could target. They have already met with nine. Whether they go with E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, or someone else entirely, it looks like the Jags could be eying a lot of players at the position rather than focusing in on a top prospect like Geno Smith.
If my inferences are accurate (I’m not claiming to be a soothsayer) then it looks like the Jags will be focusing on two players in the first round that aren’t at quarterback. This sounds good to me as, like everyone else it seems, I’m not entirely sold on Geno Smith being “the guy.”
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims