I've been meaning to write an article about this for a while now, and I finally have time. Here we go! After Yesterday's loss to the Panthers, I have turned my view towards the NFL draft and the 2012 FA class. No, I have not given up on this season and I do feel like with some improved play calling we could still win the division, but after three weeks, this team is clearly not in the running for the Super Bowl. Therefore, I want to start looking forward to another offseason that will hopefully push us to that level. After all, what do we as fans watch for? To see our team win the Super Bowl. I feel like I have a solution that will ultimately propel this team to a level that Jacksonville fans haven't seen in a while.
I am not even going to touch the topic of coaching because I feel that our team will look very different next year. Anyways, if our team does not progress on offense, we will end up in the 5-7 win range this year. I expect us to win a game or two that we were not expected to win, although I also expect us to lose some games that we should have won. Being in the 5-7 win range puts us in the top 14 picks in the NFL draft. After looking at our team, we have 5 really big needs still(WR, OT, DE, CB, and S). The last two are not big needs, but we need more depth in our secondary and I am anticipating us losing Mathis after this year. In the first round of the NFL draft, I predict there will be some solid WR and a couple very good OL prospects. I am a big fan of Blackmon as a college player, but I want a big WR in teal that will complement our other receivers. I also think a guy like Coples will slide due to his lack of production this year so far. I see our first round pick as either being Coples, Jeffrey, Floyd, Reiff, or one of a couple of CBs. In the second round, there will be some very solid DE prospects available that will probably be very attractive to Gene. Either take a WR or a DE. One of the major emphasis' that needs to be made in this draft is drafting for depth at many defensive positions. We obviously have very reliable starters in the front 7, but we lack depth. I feel that Gene needs to use his picks efficiently and draft more players. He needs to draft a larger amount of players, instead of trading up to get guys that he likes. As far as I can remember, we have traded away 3 picks to get Cox, Rackley, and Gabbert. Those picks were two 2nd rounders and a 5th. I like the three guys we picked up, but those are some picks that produce starters in the NFL. Rounds 3-7 need to be defensive depth like crazy. Depth! Depth! Depth! I don't know how many times I can say it. I would also like to see him draft some bigger school guys late in the draft. I don't care where our picks come from if they can produce, but players from bigger schools tend to make the adjustment quicker and that is what we need right now. He has drafted his project guys, and now he needs to draft quick impact guys.
I will post the part about FA soon because I just had some things come up and I can't finish this, but please comment about some of my random thoughts and let me know if you think I am off base or if I am spot on. I really think our team is headed in the right direction, but I'm worried that this year will put a negative taste in less informed fans' mouths.