Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Free-agency outlook: Jaguars
By Matt Williamson
Of all the AFC South teams, Jacksonville has by far the most money to spend under the cap. But the Jaguars will need to use it wisely.
It has to be all about defense for the Jags. I see their top three needs as linebacker, safety and defensive end, but adding a cornerback wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. In fact, they might need to add two starting-caliber linebackers to the equation. Offensively, the only position that could use addressing is wide receiver, where a bigger-bodied veteran would be useful.
Adding Eric Weddle would give Jacksonville the leader it needs in the secondary.
Eric Weddle: Although not highly publicized, Weddle is a great player who does everything well. He would instantly be the leader and best player in Jacksonville’s porous secondary. Weddle should be Jacksonville’s top free-agent safety target, but if the Jags miss out on him, Michael Huff would also fit the bill. This is a deep free-agent safety crop and it is imperative for the Jaguars to leave the process with at least one quality starter at the position.
Jason Babin: The Jaguars have been looking for quality pass-rushers for way too long. Babin came on huge last season for the Titans as a wide edge rusher. He could do the same for Jacksonville, especially on throwing downs.
Stephen Tulloch: Adding a thumper in the run game like Tulloch would really firm up the middle of Jacksonville’s defense. And it would also steal a good player from a divisional rival in the process. Although he isn’t much of a factor against the pass, Tulloch and Daryl Smith would give Jacksonville two high-quality starting linebackers.
Josh Wilson: Wilson quietly played very well in his first season in Baltimore last year. He isn’t the biggest guy around, but he is a quality cover man who might just be coming into his own in the NFL. With all the three-wide receiver sets that Indianapolis aligns in, having three or four quality cornerbacks is a must in this division.
Malcolm Floyd: I like the wide receivers in Jacksonville more than most seem to. But adding a veteran with great size like Floyd could be beneficial for sure. David Garrard and Blaine Gabbert both possess the big arms to utilize Floyd’s downfield ability. Jason Hill will be a surprising deep threat for the Jags, but adding one more guy at this position would make sense.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.