Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
For months now, we’ve been told over and over about how this 2014 NFL Draft is one of the deepest classes in recent memory. We were also told by Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley that this class would be particularly good on the offensive side of the football. So far, this has absolutely proven to be true with the Jaguars.
The Jaguars started things off big by shocking the world and selecting their quarterback of the future in UCF’s Blake Bortles. While the pick made sense, as Jacksonville had an obvious need at the QB position, some of the national media had issues with the selection. “Who is Bortles going to throw to?”
Well, Caldwell and company gave them the answer and in a big way. The team started off the night by selecting wide receiver Marqise Lee from USC, after he luckily and surprisingly slid to them at pick 39. But they weren’t finished there. The Jaguars pulled off their second surprise of the draft by trading back into the 2nd round and selecting Allen Robinson, a wide receiver from Penn State. These moves gave Bortles the weapons he’s going to need, and also provides the Jags with a diverse group of receivers.
Although Lee has struggled with drops and injuries, he is most known for his blazing speed. He instantly provides the offense with someone to take the top off the defense and be a consistent deep target, as he is a threat to score anytime the ball is in his hands.
Robinson is no slouch either. While he doesn’t possess the speed that Lee does, he is a bigger-bodied receiver, who has a knack for being physical and able to win jump balls. Robinson will most likely contribute moving the chains, and will also be a much-needed red zone target.
What a great start to the draft for the Jaguars right? Well, they weren’t done there. The team completed the surprise trifecta by trading up into the 3rd round to grab guard Brandon Linder from Miami. Linder fills an immediate need on the offensive line, as he should start right away at the guard spot opposite Zane Beadles. This move not only filled a major need for the team, but it also left center as the only question mark on the entire offensive line.
By making these moves, Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley are making one thing clear: they are going to fix this offense, and by any means necessary. Caldwell sent picks 70 and 15o to move up for Robinson, and then sent picks 105 and 179 to jump up for Linder. It’s obvious Caldwell has guys targeted he really likes, and he isn’t afraid to move up and get them.
According to our polls and Twitter reactions, all the picks so far have been really well received. Jaguars fans have been thirsting for a competent offense for quite some time now, and it looks as though Caldwell is going to give it to them. The Jags still hold pick 114 in the 4th round, 144 and 159 in the 5th round, 205 in the 6th round, and 222 in the 7th round.
Will the Jaguars use these remaining picks to address some defensive needs, or will the downpour of players on offense continue? No one can be sure of that. What we can be sure of, however, is that if the Jags really like a guy, they aren’t afraid to go get him.