Jacksonville Jaguars should take a quarterback in early rounds of 2018 NFL Draft

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Mason Rudolph /

While the Jacksonville Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship game this year with Blake Bortles, they can’t ignore the quarterback position in the draft.

Blake Bortles should come back and be the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.

Against all odds, Bortles improved in 2017 and helped the Jaguars get to 10 regular season wins and the AFC championship game. He has limitations and it’s clear the offense is hampered some by the lack of confidence the coaches have in him, but his arrow is pointing up. More importantly, he proved this year that the Jaguars are a legitimate Super Bowl contender when he plays well.

All that being said – the Jaguars absolutely have to draft a quarterback this year.

What you think of Bortles aside, the Jaguars have a tenuous situation at quarterback in 2018 and beyond. Bortles has one year left on his contract, Chad Henne is the current backup, and there’s no prospects behind those two veterans.

Even if you plan on signing Bortles to a contract extension or shopping around for a veteran QB like Alex Smith (which the Jaguars will reportedly do), you can’t keep rolling forward with a low end backup like Henne.

The Jaguars have to target a quarterback and ,quite frankly, they should do it early.

Historically, it’s been a high risk/low reward proposition to draft a signal caller in the late first or second round. This year however, there’s a chance the Jaguars could pluck one of a few developmental guys.

Looking at recent mock drafts, you see the Jaguars taking a quarterback in the following:

Bucky Brooks over at NFL.com

"PICK 29. Lamar Jackson – QB, Louisville"

"The most explosive playmaker in the draft is not a finished product as a passer, but he would add a dimension to the Jaguars’ offense as a dual-threat athlete. With a spread offense aficionado (Nathaniel Hackett) at the controls, the Jaguars could craft an offense that would allow him to shine as a QB1 down the road."

Luke Easterling at DraftWire…

"29. Jacksonville Jaguars | Lamar Jackson | QB | LouisvilleThe Jags are proving they don’t have too many glaring holes on their roster, but the future of the quarterback position is still fuzzy. Taking a gamble on Jackson could pay off in a big way, if he can develop slowly behind Blake Bortles for a year before taking over as the starter. Jackson and Leonard Fournette in the same backfield? Sign me up."

and Connor Riley over at SEC Country

"29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State QB: Blake Bortles isn’t the answer for Jacksonville. The Jaguars could look at Rudolph or Louisville product Lamar Jackson."

The Jaguars will almost certainly miss out on the top 4 guys (Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen) unless they plan on trading up, but they’ll have options.

The Jaguars have only drafted 2 quarterbacks since taking Byron Leftwich in 2003 (Blake Bortles and Brandon Allen). It’s inexcusable to ignore such an important position for so long.

The Jaguars need to get in the habit of taking quarterbacks in the draft, even if they already have an established guy.