ESPN analyst Mel Kiper released his second mock draft for the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday and it again has the Jaguars passing on a quarterback. While that's entirely possible, it's particularly eyebrow raising in that Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was on the board, as Kiper has Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M slated to be the first pick.
Instead, Kiper has the Jaguars projected to address their pass rush with the selection of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, which he explained as a move that would help a long-standing need:
The owner in Jacksonville has made it pretty clear that the search for a quarterback is on, and the draft is a place they'll be looking. While I think they'd be a good fit for Manziel, in this scenario he's not around, and they instead go with the top pass-rusher in the draft. Make no mistake, QB is a huge need, but the Jags have been looking to improve the pass rush for years. If they love one of the other QB possibilities, that could certainly be the pick, but if the board breaks this way, I think Clowney proves irresistible.
If given the choice between addressing the pass rush or the quarterback position with similarly graded players, I believe the Jaguars will choose the latter 10 times out of 10. The obvious caveat to that is that it's hard to know if the Jaguars truly like the quarterbacks at the top of the class.
Further, Kiper said in a conference call on Thursday morning that included Dan Kadar of SB Nation, that it was Manziel that is considered to be "the consensus No. 1 QB" around the NFL.