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Draft review: Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Joeckel Football AP

After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Jacksonville Jaguars.

What they needed: Quarterback, defensive end, cornerback, offensive line.

Who they got:
Round 1: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Round 2: Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Round 3: Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut
Round 4: Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
Round 5: Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan
Round 6: Josh Evans, FS, Florida
Round 7: Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State
Round 7: Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State

Where they hit: The Jaguars are more than a year away from contending, and rather than reaching for the most obvious needs, they drafted several players who will fill important roles for them when the team is closer to competitiveness. Joeckel can play right tackle until Eugene Monroe’s contract situation resolves itself, and then slide over. Cyprien’s rangy and not afraid to hit, and should be a fixture in the middle of the secondary for years to come.

Where they missed: They don’t have a quarterback to speak of for the long-term. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne might present the sorriest “competition” for a starting job this side of Oakland. They signed a pair of undrafted passers (Matt Scott and Jordan Rogers), who will have a reasonable chance to make the roster. They also missed a chance to add the kind of “Leo” pass-rusher they so badly need, and will likely have to sign some veterans there to fix the league’s worst pass rush (20 sacks last year).

Impact rookies: Joeckel helps give whomever’s playing quarterback a better chance. The Jags spent the third day of the draft adding speed to a slow-footed team. Sanders and Robinson could add immediate sizzle to the return game and the offense. Robinson’s one of those guys scouts fall in love with for his flash, but they’re going to have to find a specific role for him, as similar players have fallen flat in bad situations.

Long-term prospects: The Jaguars aren’t going to the playoffs this year. In fact, they might be pretty bad again. But new GM David Caldwell was patient and added guys who will be around to help when there’s an opportunity to be good in a few years, after they find someone to throw it, and someone to chase the people who throw it. It’s a new staff, and owner Shad Khan seems to accept that it’s going to take time to get there. That recognition and realistic expectation is a solid first step.

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20 Responses to “Draft review: Jacksonville Jaguars”
  1. dnelson21 says: Apr 28, 2013 1:55 PM

    Lets be honest, it takes a lot as a first year GM not to listen to all the media and fans and reach for a QB just to shut them up. David Caldwell stuck to his guns, and in turn, has created excitement and playmakers around Gabbert or Henne. Can they get to the playoffs with either of these QB’s? I don’t think so, but I think they are heading in the right direction for sure. I can’t wait to see what happens in the upcoming months. By the way, Matt Scott may be just as promising as any QB in this draft, so I am happier that he was an UDFA compared to wasting a draft pick.

  2. jcjaguar says: Apr 28, 2013 2:00 PM

    Wow….a pretty good analysis of their draft! I agree on most counts. Get players that fit what you want to do. Don’t reach for a QB…Scott may be as good as any of the guys there were actually draft. Needed DBs badly because they had almost none.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 28, 2013 2:02 PM

    Give me a break. Jags have made 0 moves at the QB position, either in trade, free agency, or the draft. Two undrafted camp arms. YOU may think their QB situation is terrible, but David Caldwell and Gus Bradley, who’ve been employed in the industry for about 40 years between them, and are regarded as the brightest young minds in the game, obviously DON’T.

    Who to believe, who to believe?

  4. jjb0811 says: Apr 28, 2013 2:08 PM

    Every year there are bad teams that go to the playoffs the following year. And playoff teams watching the games at home.

    The Jags certainly have a deep WR group, and a decent enough line to block. MJD is good for 4 a carry and have a C grade TE. They’ll put up more than their dismal 10 point average of ’12. If the O can move the ball, the D can stay fresh which will help. The special teams units are good w/ speed added this draft.

    Colts are young w/ a good QB. Ten always battles Jax for 4th place, And the Texans have all the making expect for A level QB. Should be a good year in the division

  5. steelerdeathstar says: Apr 28, 2013 2:10 PM

    Gabbert needs another chance this year. He already has 20+ NFL starts under his belt, and he’s only 23. He’s been in a bad situation, and did show some minimal inprovement between yrs 1-2.
    Too many teams are impatient, and jump the gun with QB changes, before giving a kid like Gabbert, a #1 pick no less, a legitimate chance to play and arrive as a good, productive NFL QB. He may ultimately fail… but he rates another shot to play and show continued improvement this year. Stay the course.

  6. tigers182 says: Apr 28, 2013 2:12 PM

    I don’t get those who think the Jags should have wasted a pick on a qb in this draft,when none of the qbs were anything special, just to have a qb of the future. Jacksonville is no where near contention with or without a qb right now and will be drafting high again next year with hopes of a starting qb-level to be there to take. A few years ago the Panthers wasted a 2nd rounder on a quarterback, just to have a quarterback, then got the first overall pick the following year and took Cam Newton. I’m sure they would have loved to of gone back and took a player to build around Newton instead of reaching on Clausen, just to have a qb of the future.

  7. bradybbgoat says: Apr 28, 2013 2:13 PM

    They’ll definitely be in contention for Clowney/Johnny Football next year. Mayybe they’re just looking ahead.

  8. explosionsauce says: Apr 28, 2013 2:14 PM

    Denard is probably a better QB than Heine or Gabbert.

  9. thirdistheworrd says: Apr 28, 2013 2:15 PM

    There will never be another Sean Taylor, but Cyprien may be as close as anyone will get for a while. He should turn out to be one of the most impactful (yes, that’s a word) defensive players in this class, and Caldwell’s decision to snatch him up, rather than reaching for a need, was one of the most impressive moves in the draft. That said, I now have a gurudging hatred of Caldwell for not letting Cyprien slide five or six spots so that the Redskins could trade up for him.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 28, 2013 2:23 PM

    If there is one thing that should jump up and smack the Keyboard Korps in their fat, pizza sauce stained faces, it’s the fact that Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley obviously don’t feel that quarterback is the problem in Jacksonville.

    Caldwell has stated numerous times that he is a “needs” drafter, and his first draft reflected that. He passed over many higher rated players, including all the quarterbacks available, the past few days. Made no attempts in free agency or the trade window to acquire a veteran. Sooner or later the glaringly obvious has to seep it’s way into public consciousness.

  11. 13arod says: Apr 28, 2013 2:23 PM

    they are close to contending stupied jagars haters

  12. sparty0n says: Apr 28, 2013 2:31 PM

    No one will be talking about Denard 3 years from now

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 28, 2013 2:31 PM

    They didn’t get one strong value pick. And they had to have all kinds of great options to trade that first pick of the 2nd round to somebody that probably would have paid through the nose, at least relative to drafting Cyprien there since he was a small reach at 33 overall. Horrible planning and execution.

  14. therillest says: Apr 28, 2013 2:37 PM

    Gabbert is a terrible QB! If Gus and his coaching staff have an honest and open QB competition, there is no way Gabbert is even going to beat out Henne. Gabbert probably wont start another game for Jacksonville.

  15. edavidberg says: Apr 28, 2013 2:40 PM

    This was a good draft. They went for the BPA and made out well with players who have very low bust potential. They could have taken Barkley in round 4 but they needed help at wide receiver and Sanders could be a good player for them. Ultimately they decided not to bet on Barkley (I personally would have drafted him) but you can’t run a team without taking some risks. Who knows how Barkley will turn out.

  16. hooterdawg says: Apr 28, 2013 2:51 PM

    Copycat series. Why does every site mimic each other by posting the similar concepts. Mock drafts, draft reviews, who won and who lost, yadda yadda.

  17. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 28, 2013 3:05 PM

    Pulling for Joeckel to make the team and have a long career. If only so we get to see his Mom around more often. Damn!

  18. ruthlssjag says: Apr 28, 2013 3:38 PM

    GreatGabbert: You mean his sister, I believe Sarah is her name (no stalker here, it was mentioned multiple times on Jaguars.com vids section)…

    Anyways, on paper, this draft deserves a high grade. In all honesty, the 1st 6 picks out of 8 will be starters, whether O, D, ST. Not to mention we got one hell of an UDFA list with guys who should’ve been drafted. If you take a look at the list, you’d scratch your head wondering why these guys didn’t get drafted. Apparently Gabbert deserves one more chance, although I’m not in favor of it, but he is being danced around like Alex Smith was (3rd year, 3rd OC/3rd playbook, no stability there). I’m excited for the Matt Scott signing, he may very well beat out all the QB’s & start.
    Overall great draft, but I will stick to my “Cautiously Optimistic” approach, setting NO bars for this team.

  19. kenudo says: Apr 28, 2013 4:20 PM

    Really like the way Caldwell is playing it. Like you said, the two biggest long term needs are QB and pass rusher. It just so happens that next years draft is looking really strong at QB, and is going to have the best pass rushing prospect in a looong time in Clowney, though I’m not sure how the other pass rushing prospects are looking. And don’t forget, the Jags are creating a really healthy cap situation. They’ll have the money to spend on a veteran FA if they still need one of those positions when they feel they’re ready to contend.

  20. ddogdaddy says: Apr 29, 2013 5:45 AM

    This was a solid draft for the Jags. Locked up a stud LT for years to come. Brought in much needed help in the secondary. Got a big play return guy in Ace Sanders and hopefully MJD comes back healthy with a chip on his shoulder. That is the good news. Now for the bad news. The Colts still have Andrew Luck and the Texans look equally strong this year as well. Oh yeah the Titans made some serious noise in free agency and the draft. The AFC South will strong this year so if you want to win the division you better be prepared to take it as I don’t see anyone giving it away.

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