Jacksonville Jaguars Needs: Pre-Draft
Jacksonville Jaguars’ Team Needs
In 2015 the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite their record, solidified quite a bit compared to previous seasons. They’ve got their backfield largely taken care of with the addition of Chris Ivory and already having second-year RB T.J. Yeldon (if he can stay healthy). They’ve also added some much needed help in the secondary with the acquisitions of Prince Amukamara and Tashaun Gipson. Their franchise quarterback is set – and progressing very nicely – as well as having a dynamic duo of receivers along with a solid supporting cast of skill position players.
Owner Shad Khan also went a long way in an attempt to quiet any outside noise by re-upping Gus Bradley’s contract before his final year, which eliminates any in-season stress for the vast majority of the 2016 season. Bradley is building through youth, and the Jaguars have a lot of it, but their work isn’t done yet. .
Granted, the Jaguars will get a big boost up front after bringing in Malik Jackson in free agency, but the need for a pass rushing defensive end is still very much incomplete at the moment. Dante Fowler Jr., despite being a great talent, is still a bit of an unknown coming back off of season-ending surgery last year. Not that Chris Clemons was immensely productive, but wrapping that up with the additional loss of Andre Branch, and the position not only needs a possible starter to immerge – but it needs quality depth as well.
The Jaguars are in great positon to gain exactly what they’re missing in this area throughout the first few rounds of the draft, which makes this deep defensive draft ever so critical in how they approach it.
There are a few top-tier talents of which a handful should be available at the No. 5 pick, but Jalen Ramsey (who could also double as the answer at safety) holds quite a gap between himself and the second ranked corner should Ramsey reach them. William Jackson III is widely projected as a first-round talent at the position as well, along this Vernon Hargreaves or Mackensie Alexander.
The addition of Amukamara is somewhat moot as far as “need” at the position, but he does allow them to wait until the second-round to grab one – if Ramsey is off the board – with plenty of talent sure to be there. Solidifying the secondary after the overall performance last season is imperative to the success of the defense moving forward, and will be addressed in some form or fashion without question.
This may be the biggest need on defense and may be one of the biggest needs on the team altogether. Myles Jack has been the consensus pick at No. 5 by virtually every draftnik on the planet over the past several weeks, and it appears that passing up on such a talent could be damning. Telvin Smith certainly stuck his head out as a very real long-term possibility in the linebacking core, and adding Jack would make the defense instantly younger and far better.
One way or another, the position needs an immediate upgrade, especially considering the age of Paul Posluszny and his becoming more brittle by the game. The edge-setting Otto linebacker is also a position that needs addressed at some point through the draft. A revolving door at this position isn’t ultimately what you’re hoping for with the otto, but it’s a spot in the defense that needs depth and hopefully a future starter if at all possible to take the reins from Jared Odrick in the very near future.
Their situation along the line could be seen as promising with all of the youth there. However, with very limited depth at the tackles, especially after the loss of Sam Young and release of Zane Beadles), the need for quality line play still definitely exists. Stefen Wisniewski is now gone as well which makes the interior an imperative position of need.
Brandon Linder, the team’s best lineman, and second-year guard A.J. Cann are good options for the first unit next season, but after that it gets pretty bleak with very little cushion. The Jaguars can’t afford any Blake Bortles regression, and with that, adding more talent protecting him is of the utmost importance. There are plenty of first-round talents that they could nab and would be able to come in and contribute immediately, and legitimately battle for a starting role at tackle or guard, however, it’s hard to see that coming to fruition.
Going center and tackle, center and guard, or even guard and tackle at some point in the mid rounds would be helpful – although they may have to resort to a post-draft FA signing or possibly even waiting for UDFA’s at one of these positions.