Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A

How the Jacksonville Jaguars Can Make the Playoffs in 2014 - Quarterback

Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the first weekend of the 2013 playoffs comes to a close, one can’t help but wonder if the Jacksonville Jaguars can make the playoffs next year. When David Caldwell was first hired as general manager, the conservative thinking was he would need three years to restore this roster from the dumpster fire Gene Smith assembled.

Early on in the 2013 season, it seemed as if Caldwell would need a lot more time for a team that looked destined for an 0-16 record. Somehow Head Coach Gus Bradley inspired this team to 4 wins and suddenly the outlook of the team in 2014 looked a lot less bleak.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are still going to need a lot of help, specifically from the 2014 NFL draft, to improve to compete for a playoff spot. Here are some of the spots where the Jaguars can improve on offense this offseason and how.

Position Need to Improve? How? (Round)
Quarterback Yes Draft (1,2)
Running Back Yes Draft (2-7)
Wide Receiver Yes Draft (3-7)
Left Tackle No N/A
Right Tackle No N/A
Left Guard Yes Draft (4-7) or FA
Right Guard Maybe Draft (UDFA)
Center Yes Draft (3-7) or FA
Tight End No N/A
Fullback No N/A

The Jaguars need to improve at several key positions, first and foremost at quarterback. Historically the only way to find a long term solution at quarterback is early in the draft. It’s too much to say that the Jaguars need to take a quarterback in the first two rounds, but it’s highly unlikely they will find their guy later in the draft.

Here are the draft candidates for the quarterback position and my rankings:

  1. Teddy Bridgewater  – Louisville (Round 1) Scouting Report
  2. Blake Bortles – UCF (Round 1) Scouting Report
  3. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M (Round 1) Scouting Report
  4. Tajh Boyd – Clemson (Round 2)
  5. AJ McCarron – Alabama (Round 3)

The ideal player is the top-ranked quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), but I wouldn’t be upset by any of the top 3 QBs in round 1. They all play different styles, but I see all three translating into starting quarterbacks.

After the top 3, I’m lukewarm on the rest of the prospects. David Carr was never my cup of tea thanks to the pocket problems of our previous quarterback and Tajh Boyd didn’t progress as much as I expected his senior year. I’m not crazy about AJ McCarron, but he’s worth a look after the second round.

 

– Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

 

 

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Blake Bortles Jacksonville Jaguars Johnny Manziel Teddy Bridgewater

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