FanPost

My Updated(although not very different from the original) Take On The Rebuild Of This Team

So I have been thinking over the post I put up a while back about the rebuilding of the team, and while I feel very similarly now as I did then, I do think I might have been slightly irrational having just watched the 41-3 loss to Chicago before putting up that post. Therefore, I decided to put up a new post that likely reiterates a lot of what I put up previously, but might include some other interesting thoughts.

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One of the first things that dawned on me over the past few weeks is that while I definitely think that Gene Smith has to go, regardless of the outcome of this season, I really cannot claim to be educated enough about other candidates as to really think one is better than any other. I brought up the Giants’ Director of College Scouting, and was very high on him because of the Giants’ success drafting as of late, but can I really say that it was this guy who deserves so much credit? Even if he does deserve the credit, Gene Smith is/was a talented scout, but is not a very good GM. In the end, I think that all it is really logical to say is that the addition of Mark Lamping as president should hopefully help Shad make a better decision regarding a new GM.

The other major think that dawned on me is that the roster will probably change a bit over the coming weeks, and so at this stage, putting up the roster and deciding the fates of each player individually is somewhat pointless. What I think is better to do is do an assessment of each position, and present my take on the approach this team has to take with regard to rebuilding in each position/area.

POSITION

COMMENTS

FREE AGENTS

DRAFT INTERESTS

OL

I begin with the offensive line because I think that it is the single most important area on the offensive side of the ball that needs to be addressed. Now I do not get to see a ton of games, but from what I saw specifically in the game vs. the Bears, this offensive line is pretty terrible. The way I see it, Monroe is probably the only player on the line I would feel confident penciling in as a starter for next season. In the end though, with guys like Rackley and Brewster around, I think that the only position that NEEDS to be upgraded is right tackle.

In general, I would suggest that free agency is not the place to rebuild your team, and so I am not so certain that free agency is the place to find a new RT for this team.

I think I mentioned this in my previous post, but I want to emphasize that I am not an advocate of drafting a RT in the first round, pretty much regardless of talent. Therefore, as I look at the group of free agents, I am focusing more on the later round players. While his stock is on the rapid decline (which I attribute to the natural RT struggling as a LT), I have been a fan of Alex Hurst. With his recent departure from the LSU squad, I am unsure what the future has in store for him, but if he enters the draft, I would love to see him as a Jaguar. Other options that I think are good, but likely will be going a tad too high for my liking are D.J. Fluker and Ricky Wagner

QB

To be very honest, I am not entirely sure what to make of Blaine Gabbert. I feel like a bunch of the negatives we claim to see in his game is as a result of getting poor play from the offensive line in front of him. In the end, I am thinking that Henne has to go(since I think Todd Bouman might actually be a better backup QB). I think Gabbert gets a shot to remain the starter, but a new QB must be brought in to legitimately challenge Gabbert.

One David Garrard will likely be available, and he is certainly not the guy I want to come back and lead this team into the future.

As much as people might be dropping off the Geno Smith bandwagon given the consecutive blowouts WVU suffered, even before those games I have been a bit hesitant in viewing Smith as being worth as high of a pick as he likely will end up being. While I do understand that a new GM almost definitely will mean a new QB, most likely Smith or Matt Barkley in the early 1st, to be very honest, I think that the best place a QB likely could be had this coming draft is the 2nd and 3rd rounds, where guys like Tyler Bray,Ryan Nassib, Zac Dysert, and even a guy like Mike Glennon could probably be had.

RB

Don’t get me wrong- I love MJD and ideally would love to see him finish out his days as a Jaguar, but realistically, if there is a reasonable trade proposal in the offseason, I would very strongly consider pulling the trigger and trading away MJD. Between perhaps moving away from the “run the ball, stop the run” philosophy and the general turnover of the roster, I think that RB is one position that might be ready for a complete makeover.

Rashad Jennings has not been all that impressive in the regular season, and so I am not so sure he is the best option to bring back, although he is probably the most logical choice to bring (back) in among the free agents.

As I am personally a fan of looking to move to a more pass-oriented offense, I am thinking that as good as guys like Marcus Lattimore and Eddie Lacy, a high round RB is not in the best interest of this team right now. Among the group of players that I think could be had at a reasonable draft slot are Knile Davis, Montee Ball (CBSSports gives him a 3rd round grade although I think he is significantly better than that), and Jonathan Franklin. I do want to add that should MJD net a 2nd round pick or better, I would consider using it on a guy like Stepfan Taylor.

FB/TE

I choose to list these positions together because of the fact that if not for the fact that the Jaguars have one of the best FBs in the game, I would strongly consider eliminating the FB position from the team and having maybe a hybrid-type player fill the FB role. Greg Jones being a free agent this coming year, I am still strongly considering letting him leave, but at this point I am just not ready to let such a talented FB leave. The main thing that has to be done though is upgrading the TE spot behind Marcedes.

As mentioned in the column to the left, resigning Greg Jones is the key free agency move to be made. As for the TE spot, it seems to be that both Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are set to hit free agency. I am not sure what they will be looking for should they hit the open market, but for the right deal I would LOVE to see one of those as a TE alongside Marcedes.

To be as brief as possible, I think a late round TE should be a legitimate possibility and guys like Joseph Fauria (CBS Sports 5th round projection although that is slightly low in my opinion) and D.C. Jefferson are the guys I am most interested in.

WR

For the first time in a while I can say that I am excited about a wide receiver on this team. His name is Cecil Shorts III, and while he is not the perfect wide receiver, I think he will only get better, and can establish himself as a legitimate contributor to this offense. Blackmon is really not showing a whole lot, and I probably will end up being correct that he was not worth anything close to a #5 overall selection. Other than those 2 guys though, I am not sure there is anyone who I would consider a starting caliber WR. An upgrade is still in order, but at this point I am not sure how high of a priority it is given the youth at the position, the big contract handed out to Laurent Robinson last season(give him one more year to show his worth??), and the major need at other positions.

One thing I will say is that a big contract for a Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace is not the best thing in the world, although I could actually see it being jusitifiable since giving a rookie QB a nice weapon like Bowe or Wallace is a very good thing.

No one in the draft class stands out to me as an elite prospect deserving of anything more than a mid-to-low 1st round draft choice. I do not think it makes sense for this team to look at potneital WRs prior to the 3rd or 4th round. Taking all of that into consideration, I am looking at WRs such as Marquess Wilson, Aaron Dobson(might go a tad high for me), and Cobi Hamilton.

DL

I am no expert on defensive line play, and so I am not really sure what to make of this line and in particular the lack of sacks. Are the DTs not doing their jobs making it harder for the DEs to do thir job of getting to the QB? Are the defensive ends just not getting to the QB and the DTs are doing a fine job? Regardless, the way I see it Mincey is overrated and overpaid, and therefore should be shopped around. As for DT, I would be willing to go out on a limb and say that position could definitely be improved.

When I look at the list of potential free agent DTs, not one of them seems to be a worthy candidate to upgrade the position on a young team building for the future. As for DE, he won’t come cheap, but I think that to be 27 year old Jacksonville native Cliff Avril would be a great addition to this team.

SBNation has Jags going DT in the first round, and while Star Lotulelei and Jonathan Hankins are both really good players, I think that id DL was taken in the early 1st, it would likely be a DE along the lines of Sam Montgomery, Bjoern Werner, or even maybe one of the OLB/DE such as Barkevious Mingo, or Jarvis Jones. While everyone listed so far would be very welcome additions, some other players I have my eye on are Kawann Short and Akeem Spence at DE, as well as Alex Okafor and Ezekial Ansah at DE.

LB

While a 31 year old LB might not seem like the most logical guy to retain when gutting your roster and rebuilding, Daryl Smith is almost a no-brainer for bringing back. Other than that, I think this LB is pretty up in the air, although I would suggest Paul Posluszny also warrants being kept. I definitely think that another OLB must be acquired one way or another because Russell Allen is not the ideal starting OLB.

As mentioned, Daryl Smith is to be retained, which in this case means resigning him since he will be a free agent.

I am going to be short and to the point. Khaseem Green is likely to be a 2nd rounder, and I would LOVE to see him be the Jaguar’s selection. If that is not meant to be, Sean Porter would be a nice pick. Even Jelani Jenkins would work for me in a later round.

CB

CB is a position that without a doubt needs massive upgrading. Cox is a solid player when healthy, Mathis is slowing down a bit and Ross is bad, just as I said when he was signed. Mike Harris could be a nickelback, but I doubt he ever amounts to a starting caliber CB in the NFL.

Derek Cox is a free agent, and I do think that he should be brought back at a reasonable cost. I also think that should he reach the open market, Sean Smith is also a player that could be brought in to be a starting CB.(I think it should be only one of these guys and I personally prefer Smith)

Saying that this draft class has a nice crop of CB might be a bit of an understatement. Whether this teams wants to spend a high pick or a later pick on a CB, there is more than likely a CB out there that could upgrade this team’s secondary. Dee Milliner, Jonathan Banks, Xavier Rhodes, or David Amerson, are the 4 early round guys I like. As for the later round talents Carrington Byndom, Desmond Trufant, and Logan Ryan

S

I think that the starting safeties on this team are quite good and definitely deserve to remain on this team. What I think is lacking is depth. As hopeful as we all were on Prosinski, I think it is pretty safe to say he is not a very good safety.

For depth purposes, signing a free agent might actually make sense, but none of the guys I see listed as free agents this coming offseason stand out as making a whole lot of sense to sign.

To be very short and to the point, I am not thinking a safety depth is going to warrant a draft selection, but should this team choose to spend a late round pick on a safety, a few guys who stand out to me are Jordan Kovacs, Duron Harmon, Ray-Ray Armstrong (is he even draft eligible? If so, does he fall because of all the crap that went on with him?), and John Boyett.

ST

Not much to say here other than the fact that when Rashad Jennings is back there returning kicks, you know something is suspect about the return game. As a whole, the special teams units have to get better, but I find it a bit hard to dissect who and what needs to change. Scobee and Anger are obviously more than fine at their respective positions. Other than this, I think it is on the new GM to get a quality ST coordinator and good players that can contribute on special teams.

Nothing to really say here.

I think this team desperately is in need of a new long snapper, and so a few names to keep track of are Jordan Cowart and Carson Tinker. If Gene is still around as GM, one of these guys might be the 2nd round pick.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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