Evan Silva

Draft Analysis

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NFL Draft Needs: Jaguars

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.


For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

 

No. 1 Team Need: Quarterback


Silva's analysis


The Jaguars finally threw in the towel on former top-ten pick Blaine Gabbert, and retained Chad Henne as a stopgap. While GM Dave Caldwell has quietly done impressive roster building through just over a year on the job, his team obviously lacks a quarterback of the future. Jags OC Jedd Fisch runs a West Coast-style offense designed to give his physical receivers run-after-catch opportunities. Aside from Henne, Jacksonville was not active on the free-agent QB market.


Norris' options


First day option: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville - A few months ago, I was certain the Jaguars would select a quarterback in the first-round. Now, I doubt it. The Jags will likely take the Seahawks’ approach of multiple mid-level shots, while relying on a strong defense, a consistent running game and limiting turnovers. Bridgewater should be a priority for any team in need of a quarterback, thanks to his outstanding poise, pocket movement, and eye level against pressure. He can dominate the short to intermediate levels of the field and has experience in pre-snap checks and reads. However, teams apparently have questions about his frame and vocal leadership. I think the league has lost sight of what really matters at the position.


Second day possibility: Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois - If a team wants to run a quick passing game, Garoppolo could be their guy. There are real flashes of decision making and a quick trigger, but on many other occurrences Garoppolo gets chaotic in the pocket and panics versus the rush or leaves a clean situation. I have been told that Garoppolo “exudes confidence,” which is seemingly becoming more and more important, but he needs to see the field better. The EIU quarterback did have pre-snap responsibilities last year.


Third day flier: Aaron Murray, Georgia - Murray will throw for scouts in the near future. He is being deemed as a very accurate passer, but Greg Peshek’s metrics and charts disagree. Murray is a rhythm and timing passer, doing his best work when hitting his back foot and delivering the football. There are even flashes of anticipation. However, Murray tends to break down when forced to move off his spot.


No. 2 Team Need: Offensive Line


Silva's analysis


Football Outsiders graded Jacksonville 31st in 2013 run blocking and 24th in pass protection. Luke Joeckel's return should stabilize left tackle, but C Brad Meester has retired, OG Will Rackley is an annual disappointment, and new LG Zane Beadles isn't a difference maker. The Jaguars still need a starting right guard and center. Right tackle is another concern with underwhelming Cameron Bradfield returning to compete with Austin Pasztor. Jacksonville is in search of linemen with movement skills as it continues to implement a zone-blocking scheme.


Norris' options


First day option: The Jaguars will not select an offensive lineman in the first-round.


Second day possibility: Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA - I would be surprised if Su’a-Filo is not the first true guard selected. The powerful pear moves so well for an interior lineman, which makes sense after he spent a good portion of his time blocking on the edge. Su’a-Filo is not satisfied with sticking at the line of scrimmage. He looks for defenders to occupy and crunch.


Third day flier: David Yankey, Stanford - Yankey is not a top three-round prospect despite the early process projection. He fit what Stanford wanted to implement, a pull or trap scheme which would allow Yankey to get on the move. He does not move people off the ball and can lose positioning thanks to poor balance. A fourth-round pick sounds about right.


No. 3 Team Need: Defensive End


Silva's analysis


Caldwell has done a commendable job of stockpiling D-Linemen for Gus Bradley's rotation, but the Jaguars still lack a franchise pass rusher. Jacksonville's ideal draft pick at No. 3 would be Jadeveon Clowney. The Jags have a number of intriguing young pieces. What they do not have is a game-changing edge player. One could conceivably turn Bradley's defense from a bottom-half unit into a sneaky top-15 group. Buffalo DE/LB Khalil Mack is sleeper at No. 3 overall.


Norris' options


First day option: Khalil Mack, Buffalo - Mack is not technically a “defensive end” as much as an edge player, but I trust Bradley to use him effectively. The Buffalo product would likely play a strong side linebacker role next to the down linemen, offering a tremendous amount of versatility to get upfield, hold the line of scrimmage, or drop into open areas of the field. Versatility is often overused, since it usually refers to prospects who have experience at multiple alignments, but unless they are winning consistently, it is just losing from various positions. Mack truly does over flexible defensive sets and he finds contact through his hands to generate a powerful first punch or work on counter moves.


Second day possibility: Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech -  Many will want to move Attaochu and let him drop into coverage. Not me. In fact, I think his game improved drastically with limited responsibilities in 2013. Line him up out wide on the edge and let him run. Attaochu has good burst off the line and flashes unloading on edge blockers while uncoiling with a punch.


Third day flier: Aaron Lynch, USF - Lynch, apparently, needs a good landing spot. His athleticism is obvious on the field, as he can close and use a strong punch with length. The flashes were minimal in 2013 and his pre-draft process has not gone according to plan. Plenty of development is needed, but Lynch is a great investment on the third day.


Video: Norris on Jacksonville's top need


Jaguars 2014 Draft Picks (11)


First Round (No. 3)

Second Round (No. 39)

Third Round (No. 70)

Fourth Round (No. 105)

Fourth Round (No. 114)

Fifth Round (No. 144)

Fifth Round (No. 150)

Fifth Round (No. 159)

Sixth Round (No. 179)

Sixth Round (No. 205)

Seventh Round (No. 222)


Jaguars Current First-Team Offense


QB: Chad Henne

RB: Toby Gerhart

FB: Will Ta'ufo'ou

WR: Cecil Shorts

WR: Ace Sanders

TE: Marcedes Lewis

LT: Luke Joeckel

LG: Zane Beadles

C: Mike Brewster

RG: Will Rackley

RT: Austin Pasztor


Jaguars Current First-Team Defense


RE: Chris Clemons

LE: Red Bryant

DT: Sen'Derrick Marks

NT: Roy Miller

MLB: Paul Posluszny

WLB: Russell Allen

SLB: Dekoda Watson

RCB: Alan Ball

LCB: Dwayne Gratz

FS: Josh Evans

SS: Johnathan Cyprien



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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