Two years ago, the Jaguars had the worst pass rush in football. They’ve made some progress as of late, but the team still lacks quality pass rushers. It just so happens that this draft class is rich in defensive ends and outside linebackers, so I’m thinking the Jags should put two and two together. Alfie Crow from Big Cat Country agrees.
1. The Jags have invested a lot of picks (and a free agent signings) recently in an attempt to bolster the pass rush. Do you anticipate that will continue this year, or will they shift the focus elsewhere?
I do anticipate the Jaguars still trying to bolster the pass rush despite signing Aaron Kampman last season and drafting four defensive lineman and playing an undrafted rookie at end at times. Kampman is once again coming off another torn ACL has his getting long in the tooth, so just relying on him coming back full strength would be irresponsible. Most mock drafts have the Jaguars taking a defensive end in the first round, which I think is very possible.
2. What’s the team’s biggest need?
The biggest needs on the Jaguars is building upon their pass rush, adding talent to linebacker and the secondary, and finding their quarterback of the future. The young defensive lineman need to show progress and develop. In the back seven, the Jaguars had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last year. Second-year corner Derek Cox was benched after the opening game where he was torched much of the game. Veteran Rashean Mathis struggled much of the season and might be on the decline. At the safety spot the Jaguars had a revolving door, starting five different safeties through the season. The team finally settled with two young players in Courtney Greene and Don Carey, but they both (especially Carey) left quite a bit to be desired.
3. There’s some buzz about them potentially taking a quarterback. Your thoughts?
I think it’s very possible the Jaguars select a quarterback, even at the 16th pick. My feeling on this is, if general manager Gene Smith grades a quarterback as a potential franchise quarterback it will be their pick at 16. I’m not sure which quarterback it would be, but based on rumblings I’ve heard I would think it would be Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, or Andy Dalton. If the Jaguars do not select a quarterback at 16, I would be surprised if one was not selected in the first three rounds.
4. Who do you want them to take?
I think they should draft Christian Ponder at 16 overall. I feel he has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback and I don’t think he will make it to their pick in the second round.