Thursday, April 4, 2013
Reassessing the Jaguars' needs
By Paul Kuharsky
The Jacksonville Jaguars have not been afraid to say they are in a rebuild. It’s a rebuild that will be centered on drafts and be quiet in free agency.
Still, some of their additions have adjusted their needs. Understanding they need just about everything, let’s look at the big question mark positions and how free agency has affected them.
New Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller should help solidfy Jacksonville's defensive line.
Offensive line -- This remains a giant need. General manager David Caldwell indicated early in the offseason that the Jaguars didn’t have people they thought could start at left guard and right tackle. And they’ve added nothing to address the issue. A tackle is certainly in play with the No. 2 overall pick, and it will be a surprise if the Jaguars don’t draft two offensive linemen.
Cornerback -- Alan Ball didn’t play well for the Texans last year, but perhaps another change of scenery and Gus Bradley’s system will resurrect him. Still, the Jaguars are quite thin at corner, with well-regarded second-year man Mike Harris joined by young Kevin Rutland and journeyman Antwaun Molden. It’s hard to look at this group and feel like it can slow Andre Johnson or Reggie Wayne. Corner is a major need.
Safety -- They cut the expensive Dawan Landry. So aside from Dwight Lowery, they are very thin. Strong safety is a blank spot that needs filling and ranks right there with offensive line and corner in the desperate need category.
Quarterback -- No, I don’t think Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne is a long-term answer. So if the new regime loves a guy in this draft, it certainly can add a quarterback. But given the holes on this team, it would make perfect sense to build up the infrastructure that would make Jacksonville a better landing spot for a quarterback in a year.
Defensive end -- The Jaguars had fewer sacks as a team last season than Houston defensive lineman J.J. Watt had on his own. They haven’t added an end and absolutely need a dynamic pass-rusher.
Running back -- Justin Forsett was a nice addition as Maurice Jones-Drew's primary relief. But MJD could be in his last year with the team, so a running back of the future could arrive in the draft.
Linebacker -- Geno Hayes could be a starter on the outside as it doesn’t appear Daryl Smith is going to be back. Russell Allen is serviceable, so maybe the team has its two starting OLBs. Not as pressing in the draft as some other areas, but if they see one they like they won’t steer away.
Fullback -- Greg Jones is gone to Houston and indications are the team plans on using a fullback. Maybe a late draft pick. But it’s a niche spot that a lot of teams may fill with an undrafted guy.