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.