As ESPN’s AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky wisely notes, “The Jacksonville Jaguars are not likely to be a very good team in 2013. They are likely to need a quarterback in 2014.”
Even before the 2013 NFL Draft, many Jaguars fans began discussing foregoing a quarterback in this year’s draft in favor of Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. While some of us still hold out hope that Blaine Gabbert can turn it around, the truth is that the Jaguars will likely be in the quarterback market next year. Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers may be turning heads now in the offseason, but we can’t be certain they’ll be the next Tony Romo to make a jump from undrafted free agent to starting quarterback.
Bridgewater offers a “safer” play at quarterback than the Jaguars have had an opportunity for in some time. PK pulls Mel Kiper Jr’s analysis on Bridgewater:
He’s not a finished product, but that’s what should excite evaluators about Bridgewater. Bridgewater never looks overwhelmed, and comfortably works his eyes across the field. When he sees a target — or more likely, a receiver who will come open — he has a quick release, plenty of arm strength and good ball placement. He has a chance to have a huge year.
You can check Kiper’s Big Board for the Jaguars here (ESPN Insider access needed beyond #3). For those of us who have seen Gabbert look frazzled, panicked, and overwhelmed, everything that Kiper is saying sounds like the remedy. Bridgewater, while “not a finished product,” is still probably more comfortable than the Jaguars’ own third year quarterback.
I’ll be rooting for Gabbert until he isn’t in a Jaguars jersey anymore, but someone who is comfortable at quarterback would be tough to not hope we “suck” for. GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley are apparently building “Seattle South” and their first draft reflects it. Pete Carroll didn’t address the quarterback situation until he felt comfortable with his prospects. Bridgewater could be comfortable for Caldwell and Bradley and comfortable in the pocket as well. Both things would be good for the Jaguars.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims