David Caldwell Has to Win to Improve Perception
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has done what most have considered a fairly good job reconstructing the team he took over after the 2012 season. Inheriting one of the least talented squads to ever step foot on a field, Caldwell systematically disassembled a roster filled with overpriced free agent acquisitions and failed draft selections compiled by former general manager Gene Smith.
Despite taking a rational and logical approach to building the roster back up over the last 2 years, Caldwell’s moves have only yielded 7 wins. That’s not surprising for a team that has no superstars and a historic amount of rookies taking meaningful snaps, but the Jaguars need to start winning for Caldwell to continue getting the benefit of the doubt.
Over at NFL Mocks, Erik Lambert has already started holding Caldwell accountable for his moves, as he had the Jags GM ranked 28th out of the decision makers in the NFL:
"Notable Draft Picks:Luke JoeckelJonathan CyprienDenard RobinsonBlake BortlesBrandon LinderIt’s admirable what David Caldwell and Gus Bradley are trying to do for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They gutted the roster and made the promise to build things from the ground up the right way, by investing in young talent. Based on draft projections they supposedly got a number of good hits but so far the results aren’t showing up in the win column. Patience of ownership varies from one team to the next but there is always a breaking point. Caldwell understands that at least some progress must be seen in 2015. Otherwise his future becomes far murkier in the months to come."
Lambert relents that a lot of Caldwell’s move have looked good, but the product on the field has yet to reflect that. I agree, and the real fulcrum for how Caldwell’s regime will end up turning out is Blake Bortles’ development. After a rough rookie year, all signs point to a big improvement from Bortles in year 2, and that will go a long way towards Caldwell receiving some of the praise he appears to deserve for his savvy moves in the last 3 offseasons. If Bortles gets better, the team will win more games, and Caldwell will start to climb these kinds of rankings.
Next: Robinson Ranks High Among 2014 Receivers'
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