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Where is the draft day sweet spot for a quarterback?

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When is the right time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to pull the trigger on certain positions?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL Draft is a little more than two weeks away and for the first time in a long time, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be seriously looking for a quarterback. But with a draft that has six big-name guys who could start games their rookie season, do they have to get one right away?

In this series, I want to look at the Jaguars’ draft needs and try to find the “sweet spot” for those positions in the draft. I want to find the lowest round where I’ll still be able to pick a better-than-average player so that I can walk away from the draft with as much value as possible.

There are seven positions the Jaguars need — quarterback, offensive lineman, cornerback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end, and running back.

In Part 1 of my series, I’m starting with quarterbacks and to help me organize the players I’ve used Dane Brugler’s prospect rankings published at NFLDraftScout.com.

Quarterback

DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
2 *Sam Darnold Southern California 1
5 *Josh Rosen UCLA 1
7 *Josh Allen Wyoming 1
13 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma 1
17 *Lamar Jackson Louisville 1
43 Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State 2
90 Kyle Lauletta Richmond 3
122 Mike White Western Kentucky 4
153 Luke Falk Washington State 4-5
176 Kurt Benkert Virginia 5-6
201 Nic Shimonek Texas Tech 6
220 Riley Ferguson Memphis 6-7
232 *Chase Litton Marshall 6-7
264 J.T. Barrett Ohio State 7-FA
273 Logan Woodside Toledo 7-FA
284 John Wolford Wake Forest 7-FA
293 Danny Etling LSU 7-FA
314 Brogan Roback Eastern Michigan 7-FA

There are six quarterbacks who will likely start games in 2018 — Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Mason Rudolph. Five of them are predicted to go in the first round with Rudolph the lone quarterback who figures to go in the top half of the second round.

After Rudolph, it’s a steep cliff of talent in the middle rounds — with projects like Kyle Lauletta, Mike White, and Luke Falk leading into the Day 3 prospects.

There may well be five quarterbacks taken before the Jaguars even get on the board with the No. 29 overall pick. And Rudolph is borderline to be gone if a team with an aging quarterback like the Pittsburgh Steelers or New Orleans Saints wants to roll the dice on finding their future guy in the second tier of prospects.

All in all, if you want a quarterback better than Kyle Lauletta (and you do) then it looks like Round 1 is when you have to get him.

Sweet spot for Jaguars at QB: Round 1