A month ago the Jacksonville Jaguars appeared to be a lock to be selecting with the No.1 overall draft pick in next year’s draft. The Jaguars had lost their first eight games of the season and had just been thumped by the San Francisco 49ers 42-10 in London.
However, the Jaguars are no longer a punchline. Jacksonville had rattled off three wins in their last four games with all three victories coming on the road.
AFC South rival Houston is now in the pole position for the No. 1 overall draft pick as the only team with just two victories through the first 12 weeks of the season.
Despite their improved play, the Jaguars are still a flawed football team and require upgrading at several positions throughout their roster – most notably at the quarterback position. Jacksonville may be better served in the long-term to have continued their losing way in hopes of landing the top pick and their choice of the best quarterback available (Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater being the consensus favorite at the moment) to lead their team into the future.
However, general manager David Caldwell brushed away any thought of Jacksonville dropping games intentionally to improve their draft status.
“I don’t think that’s in anybody’s mindset that has ever stepped into an NFL franchise, and if it there is, they’re probably in the wrong industry,” Caldwell said in an interview with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian of Sirius XM NFL Radio.
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley saw his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, find their starting quarterback in the third round a season ago. While finding the next Russell Wilson may not be realistic later in the draft, the point is teams can find productive players beyond the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are just focusing on getting the players they have to play to the best of their abilities now.
“There is no guarantees (in the draft),” Caldwell said. “Shad Khan pays us on a daily basis to make this the best franchise that we can do and then in the draft he pays us to make good decisions wherever we’re picking and make the best of that situation. We’re focused on becoming a better team here and hopefully that translates into wins.”