January 1,2013; Tampa, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half of the 2013 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Michigan Wolverines 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
As part of our weekly look at 2014 NFL Mock drafts around the internet, we’ve dipped into the ESPN pool to see what Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have projected. Kiper came out with his 3.0 mock draft on Thursday (ESPN insider is needed to see the full article), and he has the Jacksonville Jaguars in what I consider an ideal position. In a somewhat unusual move, he has the Houston Texans taking Khalil Mack out of Buffalo instead of Jadeveon Clowney or one of the quarterbacks. Consequently, Kiper is slotting offensive tackle Greg Robinson to the St. Louis Rams.
In this scenario, David Caldwell and the Jaguars have their pick of any of the top quarterback prospects and Jadeveon Clowney. Unsurprisingly, Kiper has the Jaguars taking Clowney at number 3. Here’s what he had to say about the selection.
"Analysis: The Jags have done some work in free agency, with the addition of versatile defensive lineman Red Bryant among the notables. And while they need a quarterback, I don’t think they’d pass on the most talented player in the draft if he’s around at No. 3. The Jags decided to re-sign Chad Henne, and while I don’t think they did so based on the idea he’s an immovable object at starter, I do think they believe they can win football games with him starting if they improve everywhere else. And Clowney certainly improves a pass rush that we’ve been talking about as a draft priority for way too long.– Mel Kiper Jr."
I’m going to remain steadfast in saying that the Jaguars should not pass on Teddy Bridgewater if he is available. Free agency hasn’t ended yet, but the Jaguars have really focused on beefing up the defensive line. Obviously this doesn’t preclude them from drafting Clowney, but I think Jacksonville will regret having passed on Bridgewater in a few years if this scenario plays out.