Okay, I will just say this first and foremost, but I am probably in the minority of the Jags fans who feel this way, but that is okay with me. Does this draft class have some great talent at the QB position? yes. Are there some very solid prospects? yes. The one point I'm going to try and make and defend is this... The Panthers, Cardinals, Titans, and maybe one or two other teams desperately need a QB. They really have no prospects that give them legitimate chances to win every Sunday(no, Clausen was crap last year). This is where we as fans need to realize something. Do the Jags need a developmental QB that will eventually be able to take over for Garrard? HELL YES. It's been a long time coming and we need a developmental guy badly. However, do the Jags need a QB to start? NO. I really think this team can be successful with Garrard at QB as long as we give him the tools. We have given him a young nucleus on offense and I feel he will give us about two more strong years. Do i think he is the best option at QB? No, we could go out and get a guy like Kolb who could be much more efficient, but would we really want to give up that much. Garrard will be the starter for the first game and if our team is winning, which I fully expect at this point, they won't replace him.
The reality of this draft is, every QB has some major flaws that will take time to correct. Newton and Locker both have exceptional talent and that definitely needs to be recognized, but they will take some time to fix. The point I'm getting towards is that the Jaguars, at the 16th pick, have no QB prospects that match the value they should get at that position. Yes, Locker has amazing talent that needs to be recognized, but is he a top notch QB prospect? The Jaguars need a guy that they can develop and give time to learn the system. The best option is to have a guy who has had time to learn the system and bring him into an offense that has all the pieces he needs to be successful. We still have some work to do to create an elite offense, but it is by no means a bad offense. We have some great young talent and i think a young QB could potentially do well.
The reality though is that the Jaguars BIGGEST needs are on defense. And i mean there are multiple BIG needs on defense. Not only did we have one of the worst pass defenses, we have two linebacker slots that need to be filled and a DE spot that no ones really knows how it will do. Even if Kampman comes back healthy and strong, we still have an undrafted free agent and a second year player holding up the other side. Gene Smith may also let both Morrison and Durant walk which means that leaves two huge holes open at the LB corp. Lastly, a free safety is of the utmost importance. I saw a mock draft on football outsiders last night that really opened my eyes. This is what it was:
1) Ryan Kerrigan-DE Purdue
2)Rahim Moore-S UCLA
3)Nate Irving- LB NC State
4)Jalil Brown- CB Colorado
4)Shiloh Keo-S Idaho
5)TJ Yates- QB UNC
6)Greg Salas- WR Hawaii
I'm not going to be overly optimistic and say that every player will be a great player in the future, but i do like every one of these picks except for maybe the Yates pick. The rest, however, were well thought out and would piece together nicely. With this draft you would get three immediate starters, a reserve S and CB to help develop and another WR who can be developed. This would also allow Del Rio and Smith to go after a very good LB and a offensive lineman. I am merely trying to emphasize the point that our team's greatest needs are on defense and this draft will give us the chance that we need to get many strong prospects.
Now before i finish this I just want to say that in no way am I against the QBs in the draft class. I really think a lot of them have tremendous upside. I also think that Gene Smith would rather take a player with a high floor than a potentially very high ceiling. So yes, I am saying that i think he would take a proven guy like Kerrigan over Aldon Smith. This thinking would also lead me to believe that Smith will try and take a guy in the second or third rounds where he knows he will still get a solid prospect that can blossom into a starting QB. I just think that our team can't afford to have Derrick Harvey misses and swinging for the fences with a QB in the first could be disastrous. I know any position could have a bust but QBs are higher from a miss percentage. If Gene really believes that Locker or Ponder can get the job done then i will support any decision he makes because I love the Jags and the way this team is being developed. I just really believe that this is our draft to help build a young, solid defense that will be great for years to come.
I promise I am almost done. The only way to get continued season ticket renewals that don't involve worrying and having to rally everyone together is by winning games. The best way for us to do that is to have strong drafts. If Gene wants to trade down and pick up another pick or two and take Locker or Ponder in the late first then that is a great move on his part, but I just really feel that the Jags need a GAMECHANGER on defense and a first round DE or LB could really give us that. Alright, thats the end of my rant and opinions. I'm open to any comments and if you disagree with me then I am very open to change, but you should definitely have a reason to back it up instead of just saying "___ is a beast". Hopefully this started a very good pre draft talk. Thanks for reading.