- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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While NFL fans look at the Jacksonville Jaguars and the upcoming draft and think quarterback, signal-caller isn’t actually the long-standing issue the team might have the easiest time solving with the No. 2 pick.
Sure, the Jaguars need a quarterback. But this draft doesn’t include anything near the sure-thing types that headlined last year’s draft, when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were the top two picks.
Some analysts read a lot into the attention the team has paid West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. I suspect it was a matter of doing its due diligence.
If I’m the Jaguars, I wait a year and hope that in 2014 there is more of a sure thing quarterback to chase, and that I’ve put together a better team for him to join.
And to be a better team, they need to address their pass rush.
The Jaguars have not had a player record double-digit sacks since 2006. That’s right, Jacksonville has played a half-dozen seasons without a player getting 10 sacks. In fact, since Bobby McCray notched 10 sacks in 2006, the highest total anyone’s had is eight, by Jeremy Mincey in 2011.
Jaguars sack leaders since 2006:
2007: Paul Spicer, 7.5
2008: Reggie Hayward, 4.5
2009: John Henderson, 3.0
2010: Jeremy Mincey, 5.0
2011: Jeremy Mincey, 8.0
2012: Tyson Alualu, 3.5
Enter Dion Jordan of Oregon. In the above video, Todd McShay tabs Jordan as the best edge pass-rusher in the draft. He’s got a great combination of size and athleticism and seems like the kind of guy who can help transform a defensive front.
I’m guessing the odds of regretting passing on a player like Jordan for a quarterback are higher than the odds of regretting passing on Smith for a pass-rusher.
There are other spots in the mix, of course, like offensive tackle.
But a little over two weeks before the draft, the guy who has me most intrigued when I think of the Jaguars and the No. 2 spot is Jordan.
4hEric D. Williams