The folks over at ProFootball Focus have been looking at each division and free agency, trying to determine the best fits for each team and what they feel each team will/should do.
So, what do they think for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Which player do they need to resign?
Sam: I think they would probably be best served to try and keep Mike Sims-Walker around, purely because I don't like what they can put on the field without him.
Khaled: Though he's more a two down player, you watch Justin Durant sometimes and think he could be one of the top ten linebackers in the league. Granted, in space he can look like one of the worst ten, but give him a two down role and he can really put himself about.
I agree letting Sims-Walker walk in free agency is a mistake, despite the fact the team is high on Jason Hill. Even with Sims-Walkers injuries and over-blown drops, he was productive when on the field. The only proven target the Jaguars have currently at wide receiver is Mike Thomas, and I'm not quite sure what his total upside is. The year he had in 2010 was very similar to the "break out" year Sims-Walker had in 2009.
As far as Justin Durant, he looked to me a classic case of missed potential. Physically he's what you ask for in a linebacker, but his instincts left a lot to be desired. He'd run himself out of plays and just couldn't stay healthy. More often than not, availability supercedes ability, especially at the linebacker position. He wound up being just average, and average is easily replaceable at linebacker.
What area is the team's biggest need to upgrade?
Sam: Assuming they let Sims-Walker walk, which is looking likely, I have to think that wide receiver becomes their top need - as good a slot guy as Mike Thomas is, would you really be comfortable with him being your top wide out?
Khaled: I wouldn't argue that wide receiver is a big need for them (though Jason Hill does intrigue me), but I've watched their safeties (all 6,546 they tried last year) make bad play after bad play. Get a good player in and fix one of those spots.
There is no "assuming" on the Sims-Walker front. The Jaguars have virtually said publicly he will not be back with the team, at all. Safety is much more of a concern than wide receiver, even though the receiver position is widely unknown.
How do they upgrade that area?
Sam: There's a lot to like in the free agent marketplace for wide receiver. I think Braylon Edwards brings something they don't have otherwise, and balances their passing attack a lot more. His drops have been cut way down, and he might be affordable because his rep still suffers from them.
Khaled: I'd like to see them make a run at Quintin Mikell. For his talent level, he'll represent excellent value given his rep isn't flashy enough to command the contract he deserves.
While I think a receiver like Braylon Edwards would be a solid signing, it's just not going to happen. If the Jaguars were looking for a receiver like that, they'd have just kept Mike Sims-Walker. The only free agent wide receivers the Jaguars will be signing are likely to be lower-tier or undrafted free agent "big-body" receivers. As far as Quintin Mikell is concerned, I think he's a good fall back option along with Michael Huff if the Jaguars can't land Eric Weddle. I think Gerald Sensabaugh would make a lot of sense to bring back now that he's realized he's not worth "Ed Reed money" (which is why they let him walk before), but I doubt that happens.