Draftees the Jaguars regret selecting in favor of LT Luke Joeckel in 2013

Luke Joeckel was a bad pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 and here are four players they could've taken instead.
2013 NFL Draft
2013 NFL Draft / Al Bello/GettyImages
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The Jacksonville Jaguars only won more than six games in a season during Dave Caldwell's eight-year stint as a general manager. Granted, he couldn't get onto the football field and catch a few passes but he failed to do what he was hired for: Consistently replenish the roster with talent.

In the end, Jacksonville kicked Caldwell to the curve near the end of the 2020 season but looking back, they might have hold onto him for too long. The fact that the botched the first draft pick he ever made, the second overall selection in 2013, should've been a sign of things to come.

To make matters worse, most of the picks Jags made that year ended up not panning out. Sure, Safety Johnathan Cyprien had a fine career but the rest of the bunch didn't do much of note in the NFL.

Going back to Caldwell, he used the No. 2 choice on left tackle Luke Joeckel, who spent four seasons in Jacksonville before joining the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 and calling it quits the following year. However you look at it, Joeckel was a bad pick, one of many the Jags made with Caldwell leading the front office.

You could make the case that the first round of the 2013 draft was filled with whiffs and players whose careers were derailed by injuries. On the other hand, there were a few others, some in the top 10, that went on to be highly productive. So with the benefit of hindsight, who should the Jaguars have drafted instead of Joeckel at No. 2? Here are four pretty good alternatives:

Draftee the Jaguars regret ignoring for Luke Joeckel: Justin Pugh, LT

If the Jaguars wanted to fortify their offensive line to ensure Blaine Gabbert had good protection, they could have gone with Justin Pugh instead of Luke Joeckel. It wouldn't have mattered because Jacksonville ended up moving on from Gabbert after the 2013 season but they would've at least gotten a potential 10-year starter in Pugh, who landed with the New York Giants at No. 19.

Originally a right tackle, Pugh ended up moving inside, where he's at his best. After spending five seasons with the G-Men, the former Syracuse Orangeman signed with the Arizona Cardinals and he's still going strong heading into Year 11. He's never made the Pro Bowl or gotten any kind of accolades but Pugh must be doing something right if he's managed to play for as long as he has.

And that's the thing, drafting an offensive guard with the second-overall choice wouldn't have been ideal but neither was taking Joeckel. If given the choice what would you do? Take a solid player that will go on to play 11 seasons or select a bust that's out of the league after five seasons?

Would Pugh be playing for the Jaguars right now if Caldwell had drafted him? Probably not, given his track record of retaining players, but the point remains. Having a player that can contribute for a decade is much better than having one that is a liability when you plug him into the starting lineup.