The 2015 NFL Draft opened as expected and the Jacksonville Jaguars brought in Dante Fowler Jr. to bolster their pass rush. It was a wise move, bringing in a player who many had as the best edge rusher or best player in the draft.
The Jaguars may not be done adding pass rushers yet, though. Michael Silver was with the Jacksonville Jaguars on draft night and quotes head coach Gus Bradley talking about the need for ever more pass rushers:
"“Chris Clemons hurt his knee in that game, and we had to put an outside linebacker (Mike Morgan) at edge rusher, and we really struggled,” Bradley said. “On the flight back from Atlanta, Pete said, ‘I’ll never do that to you again … that position is too important.’"
The Jaguars certainly improved their pass rush in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and they have a strong rotation of players already with the team along the defensive line, but you can never have enough edge rushers. Gus Bradley has learned a lot from his former head coach Pete Carroll, so much so that the Jaguars are practically becoming Seattle South in the NFL. They are following a similar build in the secondary and featuring a LEO pass rusher. Bradley, who was defensive coordinator under Carroll, certainly had his hand in some of that with Seattle but Carroll is a defensive-minded coach as well and his wrinkles have worked their way into Bradley’s new defense with the Jags.
So when Bradley recalls something Carroll said to him about never wanting to be short at edge rusher, you bet Bradley has that same thought near the forefront of his mind.
There are plenty of quality players to be had at the top of the second and third rounds which begin tonight at 7:00pm EST. We don’t know how far Randy Gregory will continue to fall due to off field concerns. He could be a total Vontaze Burfict and fall completely out of the draft for all we know. If he continues to fall and he is available at the top of the third round, picking up Gregory may be a wise option. It would give the Jaguars arguably the two best regarded pass rushers in the 2015 NFL Draft class and they would be able to get one for a song.
The Jags may opt to steer clear of a player with character concerns like Gregory, though. He blatantly lied about his marijuana use during the NFL Scouting Combine and he showed poor judgment when he failed the drug test as well. The Jags have taken on players with character concerns before – the most recent being running back Bernard Pierce – but they don’t want to bring in a player they will have to hand hold for his first season or seasons.
Randy Gregory’s talent is tough to ignore. Teams will be salivating over him even with his off field concerns. The Jags may be one of those teams and if he’s available for the right price, I wouldn’t be shocked if they bit.
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