I know we're still a few months away from the draft. But I'm willing to bet the Jaguars are not going to take a QB in the first round. I think the blueprint is there if we're willing to look for it. I think the blueprint comes from Bradleys influence from Pete Carroll, and then even further back to Bill Walsh. It's all there for you if you want to read it. Go pick up a copy of Win Forever from Carroll, and look at what he has done at USC and then in Seattle.
First we need to talk about the influences that affect Gus. I think you can definitively say that Gus and Dave are trying to be Pete and John South. Look at the entire way the team has been molded. They are embracing the exact formula that Pete Carroll and John Schneider put together. A team based upon constant competition and the adherence to Kaizen(never ending improvement). They are building a defense that plays fast, and long and efficient. This a defense that isn't like the "mean" defenses of Pittsburgh, but more about being faster, hitting hard, and efficiently.
Next you have to look at what the QB looks like in an offense for Pete Carroll. Many called Russell Wilson a game manager(which I disagree with). A QB for a Pete Carroll/Gus Bradley team doesn't look like a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady/Drew Brees guy, who chucks it for 40+ times every week. In fact the offenses for Pete Carroll have one main maxim. Protect the football. You protect the football by keeping the plays manageable, not taking a ton of passes and shots down the field but by being once again... efficient. David Garrard of 2007 is the perfect QB for a Pete Carroll/Gus Bradley offense. An efficient QB who manages the game well, and protects the football. I would expect the QB of the Jaguars future to be more like David Garrard of 2007 than Peyton Manning of 2013. Read Bill Walsh's book- he says "All I'm looking for is a guy who can throw a catchable ball." He's not looking for the next Peyton Manning/Andrew Luck, he's looking for a leader, someone who can take care of the ball and put it in a position that his receivers can catch it. Chances are the QB of the future for the Jaguars is not going to be a 4,000+ yard guy. He's going to be closer to a 3,000 yard guy, with high completion percentage, and a 3-1 TD to Int ratio(Russell Wilson anyone). I would have said Alex Smith would have been a good consideration if he came available this year not last, except that I think they want a QB who is a little more mobile than that in today's NFL.
It's just like Seattle uses their DB's where they take 5-7 round players and make them pro bowl level. Chances are the QB a Carroll/Bradley are looking for aren't like other teams, they are not typically going to be the first pick of the draft. Outside of a player like Jameis Winston who anyone would take. I believe the QB of Bradley/Carroll can be found outside the first round. Not because it has to be, but because what they are looking for is a little different than what is typically found. They want a QB with the right "stuff", natural leaders, able to make the throws and be efficient with the football. Again, I really think back to the David Garrard of 2007, that's what they are looking for. You don't spend a Top 5 pick to get David Garrard 2014, it's just not necessary.
Now let's look at the actual talent coming into the draft, and specifically at QB. I'm not sure there are any QB's that would fit the value at the #3 pick for Bradley/Caldwell. Not even Teddy Bridgewater. But if Teddy Bridgewater is gone, then I don't think they pick a QB at all at #3.
Teddy Bridgewater is actually a pretty good pick for Bradley/Caldwell. He tends to have the characteristics that Bradley/Caldwell will like. He's pretty polished for a college player, and is efficient with the ball. He's fairly mobile, and keeps his eyes downfield. Much depends on whether Bradley/Caldwell(Can I call them Bradwell?) think that value is there at #3. I'm not 100% sure they think that there is any QB that is worth the #3 pick. If it were at #10, we'd be having a different discussion(Not that I think he'd be there at #10). The problem is the talent that will also be available there is pretty good. I tend to think the only talent they believe is worth the pick at #3 is Jadeveon Clowney or Jake Matthews(who they don't need), and possibly Anthony Barr depending on what they see at combine/pro day.
Blake Bortles just again isn't a fit at #3. He's a good QB who has some pretty good upside potential. But he misses out on some of the things they will be looking for, as his accuracy and touch are not quite there yet. I can't see them picking him at #3.
Johnny Manziel is a sexy pick, but I can't imagine that Bradley/Caldwell will take him. First off it's not a good value at #3. Secondly his character issues are going to be a problem for the Jaguars. The fact that he left the Manning Passing Academy early is going to be a huge knock on him. Bradley wants players who compete, who follow through, who make good choices. I'm not 100% sure that Manziels improvisation will work in the NFL, and I'm almost 100% sure that they are going to value safety and protection of the football over improvisational skills. I don't see them picking Manziel even if he was available in the second round.
And then there are no choices for QB at the #3 spot left. My best guess would be that they try to trade down, and pick up a later pick or two. They pick Clowney if he's available no matter what. Possibly Anthony Barr could creep up that list, he's a little raw but his upside potential is huge. Maybe Khalil Mack. But other than that, I don't see a pick that presents a good value for the Jaguars at #3, and definitely not a QB.
My gut is that they pick a QB in round 3-4. I don't see much available at the top of the 2nd. Maybe if one of the Top 3 slips to the top of Round 2. It's possible they move back to the middle of round 1 and pick up Bortles or Bridgewater(if available although not likely). I would think the second tier of QB's will find out target QB. A Jimmy Garoppolo at the top of 3. AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray might be good choices around the 4th round. My gut is for the type of offense that the Jaguars are planning to run, an Aaron Murray in the 4th round is not going to be a huge drop off from Teddy Bridgewater at #3.
I think the writing is on the wall, you can see from the history of Pete Carroll and his philosophy what we can expect from the draft. If we're going to pick a QB at #3 it could only be Bridgewater, if he's not available I think they'll go defense. If you need a David Garrard type player, you don't use a top 5 pick for that. You build a dominant defense, you build a fantastic O-line, you get good role players- rb, wr, te. You don't value a QB as highly as other teams might because you don't need a top 5 QB to be successful. You need a reliable, efficient, and careful QB who will put you in a position to win.
Look at Henne, why wasn't Henne more succesful as the Jaguars QB? Because he didn't protect the football, he was prone to the giveaways. Which is against the main maxim of what a Bradley/Carroll/Walsh QB should do. Near the end of the year the defense was getting better and keeping the team in the game. An efficient offense, and a good QB will help take this team to the next level.
Anyway, those are my ramblings after thinking about what Seattle has done to build their team, and what I can expect for the draft in May.