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What’s Next: NFL Draft 2013 & College Free Agency


Sep 30, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Cameron Bradfield (78) on the bench during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Zain just wrote a strong post about the guys who are getting overlooked at #2 overall for the NFL Draft. As the flurry of free agent signings associated with the first week of the NFL New Year slows down to an occasional announcement, we turn our attention back to the draft.  The draft is where the Jacksonville Jaguars will really begin to rebuild their roster, and it goes beyond the meager seven picks the Jags have.

General Manager Dave Caldwell is big on bringing in young, cheap players that can be effective as the team retools.  He has said on a number of occasions that the Jags will turn to college free agency to fill in a lot of holes.  When looking at the handful of free agent pickups thus far and the glaring needs the team has, it is anticipated that more acquisitions will be made beyond the seven players the Jags will get in the draft.

College free agency isn’t always the best and the brightest of football players.  Occasionally you find an Arian Foster or a Tony Romo, but most of the time you find players like Cameron Bradfield.  A team full of Bradfields is going to make a push for the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.  A team full of Bradfields complemented with Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts III, and good free agent signings like Roy Miller could quietly improve, however.  And that’s without even looking at who the Jaguars will be getting in the draft!

The draft will yield at least two high quality players for the Jags.  If Caldwell can find starters in rounds 1-3 I’ll be even more impressed.  That is good value from any draft.  The ability of the players drafted in rounds 3-7 to remain with the team and be role players is important as well.  This first draft class will be the beginning of a new foundation for Jacksonville, so the more players the Jags can get to help them build a dynasty, the better.

The draft is getting closer each day and as March begins to wind down expect more careful analysis of who the Jags will be targeting and potentially drafting.  The way I see it, the team can’t lose.

– Luke N. Sims

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