The 2014 NFL draft is currently considered to be one of the deepest in recent memory. Certain positions have an embarrassment of riches, and some think capable starters could be found as deep as the 3rd and 4th round.
Fortunately for fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars, general manager David Caldwell has plenty of draft picks to work with and acquire talent. With 11 selections overall, the Jaguars have plenty of firepower to maneuver within the draft if they so choose.
Bill Barnwell over at Grantland recently posted an article breaking down the approximate draft value for each team using Approximate Value metric from Football Perspective.
Unsurprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars rank fairly high.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (66.3 points of Approximate Value)
Traded Away: None
Acquired: 4th-, two 5th-, 6th-round picks (all trades)
The Jaguars need just about everything except a left tackle and a wide receiver, and they might take Sammy Watkins anyway. If Houston takes a quarterback and the Rams don’t trade down or have interest in Clowney, Jacksonville could have the South Carolina defensive end sitting in its lap. The Jags could very well then field a godfather offer from somebody like Atlanta to move down three spots, where they could draft a quarterback and have multiple future picks with which to rebuild. Even if Clowney’s gone, they could field the same offer for somebody interested in Watkins, like the Buccaneers (who pick seventh), Bills (ninth), or Titans (11th). They have flexibility, and by dealing away three former Gene Smith picks (Eugene Monroe, Mike Thomas, and Blaine Gabbert), they’ve picked up 10.1 points of draft capital, roughly equivalent to the 47th pick.
I’m not really sure why Barnwell would say the Jaguars don’t need a receiver, unless he’s incorrectly accounting for Justin Blackmon, but he does make a good point about trading down. Even if Clowney is gone, the Jaguars have several potential suitors behind them who may want to move up. The Jaguars just have to decide if they’d rather have a top 3 player or a top 10 player with some additional selections.
If the Jaguars do trade down at number 3, I expect them to trade up later in the draft for players they are targeting. Already with 11 picks, the Jaguars probably aren’t expecting to have 12+ rookies make the roster. If they do trade down, it will interesting to see where they end up taking the quarterback. Either way, it appears the Jaguars should have the ammunition to move around and take whichever quarterback is sitting at the top of their board.
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