Every football team has needs. They can always upgrade a position or fill a gaping hole on their roster. Unfortunately, if your a Jaguars fan, you know that this team...has a lot of needs. I'm going to breakdown the top 10 needs of our Jacksonville Jaguars.
1. Defensive End - The Jaguars haven't had a player get 10 sacks or more since Tony Brackens in 2001, when he got 11 sacks. The year is 2013, yes that's 12 years since the Jaguars had a player with 10 or more sacks. And the Jaguars tried addressing the problem Shack Harris thought he hit gold with Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, and that failed. Groves is a 3-4 OLB free agent and Derrick Harvey is probably making half-ass karate videos somewhere. The Jaguars had 14 sacks in 2009, 26 sacks in 2010, 32 sacks in 2011, and 20 sacks in 2012. In 2012 the sack leader was an injury prone defensive tackle in Tyson Alualu with 3.5 sacks. Not really something to be proud of. The Jaguars need to find a defensive end.
2. Cornerback - Both of the Jaguars starting cornerbacks are free agents. The aging and injury prone Rashean Mathis likely won't be resigned. And the talented but injury prone Derek Cox will probably be allowed to test the market, and may get resigned. Derek Cox will fit very well into what Gus Bradley likes to do with his cornerbacks. He likes the big press man corners, and that's what Derek Cox is. Finding somebody to play across from Cox is a must. This is a deep draft for corners, and a good corner can be found in rounds 2 and 3, so this will likely get filled. At #3 we have the crappy Aaron Ross, and behind him Mike Harris who many Jaguars fans like. He's still raw, but will probably become the Jaguars nickelback for a while.
3. Quarterback - Gene Smith tried fixing the Quarterback need in 2011, by selected Blaine Gabbert 10th overall. Well Blaine needed a lot of work, and although he has steadily improved since his abysmal rookie season, he's still a question mark. He could pan out with good coaching, but he might not. David Caldwell might want to bring in a veteran or draft a quarterback. Behind Blaine Gabbert is Chad Henne who's not the answer. He wowed a lot of Jaguars fans in his performance against the Texans, but other than that and a few nice throws he was quite disappointing.
4. Right Tackle - In the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Eben Britton. Well Eben Britton has been injury prone and so inconsistent he was moved to guard and this past season got benched in favor of an undrafted rookie. Guy Whimper has started at Right Tackle, and that was a terrible sight. Cameron Bradfield has also started at Right Tackle, and while he did have some solid performances, was overall disappointing as well. This position will likely be filled through free agency.
5. Outside Linebacker - Daryl Smith the all time best Jaguars linebacker is a free agent coming off an injury that sidelined him almost the whole season. He's on the wrong side of 30, and the new staff will probably let him walk. So the strong side has a gap needed to be filled. And on the weak side we have Russell Allen who led the team in tackles. He isn't very good, he's solid at best and makes nice plays occasionally, but is better as a reserve linebacker.
6. Left Guard - Will Rackley was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft, and was the league's worst guard according to Profootballfocus in 2011, his rookie season. In 2012, he injured his ankle and kept having setbacks until he was eventually put on Injured Reserve before the season started. He's a big question mark, and he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job, but we really don't know what were getting with him. As the last thing we really saw was terrible play. Eben Britton was bad this season and is a free agent. Mike Brewster is also there but he may play at Center. I think that they will draft somebody in the latter rounds, or possibly bring in a cheap free agent to compete for the starting job.
7. Center - Veteran Center Brad Meester is a free agent, and his play is really starting to take the turn for the worst. Mike Brewster the Undrafted Free Agent from Ohio State is also here and he can play at guard or center. It was surprising to see him go undrafted, and as it stands right now, it looks like he'll be starting at center in 2013. But the Jaguars may choose to draft somebody or bring in a free agent.
8. Running Back - Maurice Jones-Drew has one year left on his contract and was injured last season, he's not going to be able to play until about June or July, so moving forward with him is kind of scary, because he's been such a big part of our offense. His backup Rashad Jennings disappointed this season, and is a free agent. The next guy is Montell Owens, and while he did a solid job, he's to vital to our special teams unit. The Jaguars need to atleast bring in a backup for Maurice, and I think it'd be smart to draft a guy in the 2nd or 3rd, who can start if needed and take over the reins when Maurice isn't resigned.
9. Full Back - The Jaguars have arguably the best fullback in Greg Jones, but he's 33 and he's a free agent. He'll probably be allowed to walk, and the running game will definitely suffer not having him their lead blocking. The Jaguars may want to bring in somebody via free agency or the draft. If they can find a good blocking full back, who can also be a threat catching the ball out of the backfield, we may have upgraded and brought another threat to this offense.
10. Tight End - Marcedes Lewis has struggled, and is still one of the best blocking tight ends. Under the new staff I expect him to play pretty well, but behind him we have nobody. The Zach Miller project failed. Zach Potter is mostly just a blocking tight end. The Jaguars may want to look into taking a tight end late, preferably a receiving threat to bring in during double tight formations. Another weapon to this offense will always help, and they could always look at free agency.