Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently published an article covering all 32 NFL teams and where each team should address their biggest needs: in free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft. 2021 marks a fresh start for the Jacksonville Jaguars organization and they have a lot of crucial decisions ahead of them. They have a significant list of needs that they can address both in free agency and the draft, but PFF sees the value in the Jaguars being more aggressive through the draft.
The three positions specifically mentioned by PFF were quarterback, safety, and cornerback.
It’s rebuilding time in Jacksonville and they aren’t going to find the right man to lead this team in free agency. However, there are decent options in free agency to get a veteran backup who can help mentor an incoming young quarterback like Trevor Lawrence, but it’s clear the draft is the direction the Jaguars have to go to find their future franchise quarterback.
The secondary is an area of need that the Jaguars will have to double-dip in. That is, they should prioritize targeting the safety and cornerback positions early in the draft but should also look to signing a veteran in free agency for the right price.
PFF didn’t mention the defensive line specifically but the Jaguars defensive line is the second weakest area on the team aside from quarterback. They need capable pass rushers and interior lineman who can stop the run. This is likely the area of need that Jaguars will end up using most of their cap space towards in free agency.
Where the concern lies for the Jacksonville Jaguars
The biggest key to the PFF article was that the Jaguars have to be careful spending in free agency to avoid what happened in 2017 when they blew a ton of cash on quarterback Nick Foles. He suffered a serious injury in week one of that season and was ultimately traded to the Chicago Bears that following offseason.
The point to take away from this is, Jacksonville is still very early into its rebuild. They have plenty of resources (draft capital, cap space) to spread out over the next few years to fully maximize their potential. It’s year one of the rebuild and the Jaguars have a whole new coaching staff under Urban Meyer. Why not build your future through the draft and supplement it in free agency?