Speculation has run rampant on who the Jacksonville Jaguars will select with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Early on in the process, it was thought David Caldwell would take a quarterback, but more draftniks and media members are locking into the idea of the Jaguars passing on a QB in the first round.
Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union has been consistent in his belief that Jacksonville will go a different route, and he’s mentioned the posssibility of a guy like Zach Mettenberger in the second round.
Coupling this news with some of the talk of the Jaguars passing on a guy like Johnny Manziel, and it’s very likely Caldwell will look at another position with the third pick.
So if the Jaguars are looking at a guy later in the draft, who should they be targeting?
It goes without saying that if a guy like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater somehow drops to them in the second round, they are no-brainer selections. Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are slim, so we need to take a look at some other guys.
Some second round candidates like Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr aren’t ideal candidates in my opinion, if only because they share some of the flaws with former first round quarterback Blaine Gabbert – namely lack of pocket presence. They both posses nice tools for the position, but they haven’t shown the ability to play in a muddy pocket and make a throw with pressure surrounding them.
With that said, I expect Caldwell, head coach Gus Bradley, and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch to look for a more cerebral quarterback who knows how to progress through his reads and make throws with accuracy and anticipation. For me, that means the following guys are candidates:
- Aaron Murray, Georgia
- David Fales, San Jose State
- Zach Mettenberger, LSU
- Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
The biggest stumbling block with evaluating these quarterbacks is trying to also assess their market value. Last season, people talked about a guy like Ryan Nassib going at the top of the first round, and he fell all the way to the fourth round. Is Aaron Murray a 3rd round pick or a 5th round pick? Is Fales is a second day pick, or is he a fringe undrafted free agent?
I think this quarterback class is a fair bit better than last years, but it’ll be interesting to see if this crop of guys gets pushed up the board as history has dictated before last year.
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