Jacksonville Jaguars free agency moves point to a quarterback early in 2018 NFL Draft

NORMAN, OK - DECEMBER 6: Quarterback Mason Rudolph
NORMAN, OK - DECEMBER 6: Quarterback Mason Rudolph /

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t been shy about spending in free agency, and their urgency to fill holes indicates they may look at a QB early in the draft.

When the Jacksonville Jaguars extended quarterback Blake Bortles earlier this offseason, it signaled their commitment to the former first round pick for the next 2, probably 3 years. With less cap space available to them compared to previous years, many expected the Jaguars to sit out the bulk of free agency this and use the draft to try and add help for Bortles on offense.

Instead, general manager David Caldwell and executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin went after some big fish. After making Andrew Norwell the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL, the Jaguars also signed former Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief, former Jets and Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and former Redskins tight end Niles Paul. The Jaguars also re-signed wide receiver Marqise Lee to try and maintain some continuity with the pass catchers.

With the addition of two tight ends and a guard, the Jaguars have addressed their most pressing needs on offense. They could probably add another wide receiver in the draft, but right now they can sit comfortably at the 29th pick and take the best available player.

Or… if they really like a player, package a few picks to move up and take a blue chip prospect.

The Jaguars’ roster is in a state right now where late round rookies don’t have a great shot at making the roster. If the Jaguars drafted 7 rookies, there’s a good chance 5 or less would make the team.

Obviously giving picks away is not a good long term model, but the Jaguars are in the rare position to actually do that without mortgaging their future.

Without any pressing needs, at least along the first string depth chart, the Jaguars can target an extremely important backup position – quarterback.

David Caldwell was recently asked about the quarterback depth chart since the team only has Bortles at that position right now, and he said:

"“The plan is to get a backup quarterback. It doesn’t have to be a veteran. It can be.”— Dave Caldwell"

I would still expect the Jaguars to bring in a token veteran arm at some point, but it’s clear they are going to draft a quarterback. It might not be in the first round, but I’d be shocked if the second day ends without a quarterback as part of the Jacksonville draft class. If Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson make it to the end of the first round, I think the Jaguars would pull the trigger.