The Jacksonville Jaguars free agency moves proved they are committed to building a winner. The Jaguars picked up a variety of players who will improve the quality of the team moving forward. Now the team looks toward the NFL Draft on April 26-28.
The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have the usual top 5 draft choice due to their excellent season in 2017. The team needs to study carefully and be creative to get the most from the choices available. For example, a franchise quarterback may not be an option in round one. The choices of Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles proved that a high draft choice doesn’t always quite work out as expected.
A look at the roster gives us a clue about the areas of need for Jacksonville. Today let’s take a glance at the offense.
Blake Bortles starts at QB for the Jaguars in 2018. In fact, Bortles is the only quarterback on the current roster. The Jaguars need to draft a young quarterback with potential in the second or third round. Also, they need to sign an experienced free agent as an insurance policy.
Jacksonville’s needs in this area are not extreme. The team has the classic needs filled. Leonard Fournette as the starter, T.J. Yeldon as the third down back, and Corey Grant as the change of pace back fill the needs. In addition, the team has an adequate fullback in Tommy Bohanon. At the same time, running backs have a high rate of injury so it is likely they pick up a back in the later rounds.
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The tight end position looks good. Although there were only two tight ends on the roster at the beginning of free agency, the Jaguars have four solid TEs now. Marcedes Lewis gives the Jaguars a veteran presence. Niles Paul adds experience. Also, Ben Koyack is a solid contributor. Most important of all, Austin Seferian-Jenkins gives the team a player with high potential. TE is not a high priority in the draft.
The wide receiver position looks solid if not exciting. To start, the Jaguars re-signed Marqise Lee. Also, Jacksonville added Donte Moncrief, who is another player with potential. The rest of the group consists of some very young players. Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and Jaydon Mickens showed good potential last season. Obviously this is an area of need.
Every team in the NFL looks to improve their offensive line. The offense lives or dies on the back of the offensive line. For example, the Jaguars made a huge splash in free agency when they picked up Andrew Norwell. No doubt Norwell makes the line better immediately. In addition, Brandon Linder and Cam Robinson return in 2018. Also six other linemen return next season. Guard needs an upgrade and will be an early priority in the draft.
The Jaguars quarterback needs are pressing but free agency may still play a role. Wide receiver and offensive line needs may take priority. Possibly, Jacksonville may be in the unique position of taking the “best player available” regardless of position. There is plenty of time for movement prior to the draft.