Since the Jaguars have hired a HC it has become both easier and more complicated to mock the rest of the offseason. Easier in that we now have the HC, DC, OC, DL, and LB coaches settled, but difficult in that we don't know the full extent of who Mularkey wants to bring in to the coaching staff. Also this will cause some differences in the FA and Draft. However, difficulties aside, let us settle into the fun of mocking who will be filling out the rest of the coaching staff, the free agents, and the draft picks.
Coaching Staff (Guess are in italics):
HC: Mike Mularkey
OC: Bob Bratkowski
QB: Tom Clements: Current Packers QB coach. Has connections with Mularkey from time in Pittsburgh and Buffalo where he was the QB coach and OC, respectively. His hiring would also fit with what Mularkey said about hiring someone who had previous OC experience as the QB coach.
RB: Ernest Byner: I would assume that Mularkey would keep him.
WR: Keenan McCardell: You can't tell me that you wouldn't want the "Thunder" part of "Thunder and Lightning" to be the new WR coach
TE: Chris Scelfo: Current TE in Atlanta. I would assume that Mularkey would want to bring him to Jacksonville.
OL: Russ Grimm: Has connections to both Mularkey and Bratkowski from their time in Pittsburgh. I think it would be awesome to have a former member of the "Hogs" as the OL coach.
DC: Mel Tucker
DL: Joe Cullen
LB: Mark Duffner
DB: Darren Perry: Current Packers DBs coach. Has connections to both Mularkey and Bratkowski from their time in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati
STC: Joe DeCamillis: Former Jaguars STC from 07-08.
Free Agency (Once again I'm dividing FA into resign and sign parts):
Resign (These are in alphabetical order not in order of precedence or need):
LB Russell Allen
OT Cameron Bradfield
DT Nate Collins
DT/DE Leger Douzable
SS Courtney Greene
FS Dwight Lowery
CB Rashean Mathis (IF Mathis is willing to take a reduced price to stay in Jacksonville I say we keep him. We wants to retire as a Jaguar and it might incentivize him to take less money...I hope)
CB William Middleton
DE Jeremy Mincey
DE Matt Roth
CB Kevin Rutland
OT Guy Whimper (Maybe....I'm really unsure about whether to keep him or not)
WR Harry Douglas (Currently with the Falcons): Career Stats: 84 Rec, 1112 yds, 3 TDs, 13.2 yd avg
WR Earl Bennett (Currently with the Bears): Career Stats: 124 Rec, 1659 yds, 6 TDs, 13.4 yd avg
OG Carl Nicks (Currently with the Saints): Career Stats: Started 61 of 64 games
QB Chris Redman (Currently with the Falcons): Career Stats: He'll be the new backup QB so stats aren't necessary
DE Cliff Avril (Currently with the Lions): Career Stats: 133 Tkls, 30.0 Scks, 14 FF
Douglas: He's had a quiet, yet productive career so far and I think he could blossom into a star in Jacksonville.
Bennett: He's been a bit more productive than Douglas has. But he's kinda buried on the depth chart and he could very well be looking for greener pastures.
Nicks: Of all the signings he's the least likely to join the Jaguars. However, the Saints already gave Jahri Evans a lot of money so they could very well be hard pressed to pay another OL a similar amount.
Redman: He's been in Mularkey's and Bratkowski's system for the past four years and he could help make the transition easier on Blaine. I also think he'd be a more capable backup if Gabbert ever was injured.
Avril: As we all know by now, Avril is from Jacksonville and he would love to come back. He would provide a great pass rush (he'd averaged just under 8 sacks a year in Detroit) and would allow Mincey to move back to LE.
Draft: When you look at the prospects that are eligible and those that have declared for the draft it would have been considerably better for the Jaguars if Matt Barkley and Landry Jones had come out early. However, there is a way for the Jaguars to still achieve value at Pick #7 and here's how.
With the first pick the Colts will, of course, take Andrew Luck. The Rams will then most likely take Justin Blackmon to provide Sam Bradford with a weapon. The Vikings will begin rebuilding their OL by taking Matt Kalil. Now this is where it gets interesting. The Browns at #5 select Robert Griffin III. This of course causes a few shock waves as most expect the Browns to select Trent Richardson. However, they don't and secure the future of their franchise...JK. The Buccaneers at #5 then select Trent Richardson. Yes, Morris Claiborne popped into my mind, but the Bucs can get CB talent in Round 2 (Gilmore, Minnifield, ect). The 'Skins at #6 then chose Michael Floyd. I have a feeling Floyd will light up the combine, ND pro day, and private workouts and in all honesty the Redskins need more help on the offense than defense. With the way that the first six picks have played out the Jaguars have an obvious selection at #7:
1st: CB Morris Claiborne LSU
Now I seriously contemplated trading down with this pick, but the lack of franchise QBs and the fact that Luck and Griffin are gone by Pick 7 make a trade unlikely and so Claiborne is the best overall value.
2nd: WR Alshon Jeffrey South Carolina
Now let me dream here for a second. Most of the draft sites and experts have Jeffrey falling into the second and since Blackmon and Floyd will definitely go in the 1st and Wright, Sanu, Jones, and possibly Toon, Givens, and Quick if they do well in the offseason will go somewhere in between. I think teams will be reluctant to draft Jeffrey due to his speed and possible weight issues and I would imagine Gene would have no trouble selecting him. And so the Jaguars get a HUGE steal in the 2nd.
3rd: OT Tony Bergstrom Utah
Regardless of what we do with Guy Whimper in FA, he's not the answer at RT. You might be wondering about Eben Britten, don't worry that'll be addressed later. Bergstrom has the size (6'6'' 315lbs), the experience (4-years starter), and the brains (majoring in chemical engineering) to come in and win the job at RT in OTAs and Training Camp.
Now what to do about Eben Britten. Since we are selecting Bergstrom in the 3rd I believe that we can turn Britten into picks. I think Gene would be willing to do this as he values draft picks highly and so I think this could very well happen. The Bills (sorry to pick on you Bills fans) have a need at RT and I think they would be willing to trade a 5th rounder for Britten.
4th: WR T.Y. Hilton FIU
We get another steal at WR with Hilton. The little speedster from Miami would be excellent out of the slot and he could possibly solve our long term problem at punt returner.
So as I mentioned before, We traded Eben Britten to the Bills for an additional 5th rounder. The Bills pick 10th so we also get good value out of the pick.
5th (7): OC Quinton Saulsberry Mississippi State
We find Brad Meester's replacement in Saulsberry. He has decent size at 6'2'' 305lbs (so somewhat similar to Meester) and has experience at both tackle and guard. He also has experience as he's started all 49 games of his career.
5th (10): OLB Tank Carder TCU
A very underrated athlete who possesses excellent size and good speed. He also has incredible intangibles and very much fits the Gene Smith model of a player. There is some injury concern as he punctured a lung/diaphragm and suffered a broken back when he was 12.
6th: WR B.J. Cunningham Michigan State
Cunningham has the size (6'2'' 223lbs) to be a serious threat both going across the field and going up the ladder to catch passes. His total production at MSU speaks for itself: 211 catches, 3020 yds, 25 TDs. While some are projecting him to go in the 5th, I think Cunningham, like Jeffrey will have some speed problems and will fall as a result. I think he like the WRs selected earlier he is a steal and will be very successful in the league.
QB: Gabbert & Redman
RB: Jones-Drew, Jennings, & Harris
FB: Jones & Owens
WR1: Douglas, Jeffrey, Shorts
WR2: Bennett, Dillard, & Cunningham
Slot: Thomas & Hilton
TE: Lewis, Miller, Osgood
LT: Monroe & Bradfield
LG: Nicks & Rackley
C: Meester & Saulsberry
RG: Nwaneri & Haslem
RT: Bergstrom & Haslem
LE: Mincey, Roth, & Lane
RE: Avril & Chick
DT: Knighton, Alualu, Douzable, Collins
LOLB: Session & Allen
MLB: Posluszny & Bosworth
ROLB: Smith & Carder
LCB: Claiborne & Middleton
RCB: Cox & Rutland
FS: Lowery & Prosinski
SS: Landry & Greene
P: Lanning or someone else
As always comments are appreciated and please feel free to leave them along with suggestions of how the offseason could improve.