I really am optimistic about the Jaguars under Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley, but it doesn't mean I'm not a little worried about how things will turn out in the draft this year.
At the end of the 2012 NFL season, I felt pretty good about the Jaguars receiving the second overall pick in the draft. Ideally there would be more than one elite player available, but even if there weren't the Jaguars have so many needs the door is wide open to draft anybody that would improve the team.
Or so it would seem.
As of right now, I like DE/LB Dion Jordan and QB Geno Smith as possible selections at number 2. No worries, right? The Kansas City Chiefs will probably draft OT Luke Joeckel, leaving the Jaguars with their choice of either of these guys. If GM Dave Caldwell likes somebody else better, he's the pro and I'll support pretty much whoever he wants.
Some people really like the idea of trading down. If the Jaguars can get a deal that adds a several picks in the top rounds, I'd support that, too.
But it's not really that simple.
The more I think about it, the more I wish that we had the 1st overall pick so that some of the scenarios that have been bouncing around in my head wouldn't be a problem. Is there really a big difference between the number 1 and number 2 picks?
Here's several ways that Jaguars or some other teams could sabotage the draft for me:
Some other team trades up to number one
No big deal? We'll still have pick 2nd, you say?
Listen, if there's going to be a trade at the top of the draft, I want it to be with the Jaguars, not the Chiefs -- extra picks would be wonderful. Also, what if the team that moves up gets the guy that Caldwell really wants?
The Jaguars draft an LT
If this happens, I'm turning into the ultimate cynic, instantly. All that stuff about trusting Dave Caldwell will go out the window for me.
We've all heard Caldwell say he's drafting for need. So why would he pick a player at one of the ONLY positions where they have a good player. Oh, he can play RT? Then don't draft him at number 2. RTs get drafted about one round lower.
We pass on Geno Smith and he turns out to be good
Okay, I'm not saying that Geno Smith is definitely the answer at QB... but what if he is?
If he has the tools it would be crushing to pass on him and watch another team secure their future with a QB we could have had. how often does a team get to draft in the top 2? Well, this will be only the third time ever for the Jaguars. Who knows when they'll get another chance to draft this high. If Smith really isn't going to be good, then let pass on him.
But the Jaguars can't afford to miss on him.
Jaguars trade down and miss on top talent
I'm not saying the Jaguars will do this intentionally. But what if they trade down, get extra picks, and the player that is drafted in the 2-spot turns out to be an All-Pro?
What if the guys the Jaguars get are just okay and last one contract with the Jags.
I like the idea of trading down, but not at the expense of a real difference-maker.
The Chiefs don't pick Joeckel or Fisher
Almost every mock draft I've seen has the Chiefs taking one of the top Tackles in the draft.
I like this.
If that happens and the Jaguars stay at #2, I'm convinced that Caldwell will get the player he likes the best in this draft.
For reasons I stated above, i don't think that OT is a consideration at all in the first round for the Jaguars. If the However, if the Chiefs draft another position, like DE or QB, they may be taking the guy that Caldwell really wants the most.
The Jaguars draft anything besides a pass rusher or quarterback
I used to think many positions would be okay. After all, the Jaguars could use a CB, LB, DT, G, and several other positions.
But the only positions that are really worth it that high are QB or pass rusher.
Don't believe that?
NFL executives believe it. In the last 1997, there have only been 3 positions drafted first overall in the NFL Draft: QB (12 times); DE ( 2 times); OT (2 times).
That should tell us what positions are the most important.
I'm sure Dave and Gus have things under control, but I'm probably going to worry for the next three weeks.