Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, known to his fans as "Pocket Hercules" because of his diminutive frame and bowling-ball running style, went on the NFL Network's "Total Access" show on Monday and discussed a number of things — the labor situation, football in Los Angeles (Jones-Drew went to UCLA), and the best trash-talkers in the NFL. But when the subject turned to the Jaguars' 2011 draft and the team's choice to trade up and take Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick, things got interesting.
Jones-Drew said that he was "shocked" that the Jags would take a quarterback with David Garrard still very much on the roster. "After talking with the coaches when the lockout was lifted for that one day, they felt like David needed somebody to compete with," he told Rich Eisen and Warren Sapp. "That year we went to the second round of the playoffs (2007), David threw three picks throughout the year, and he competed with Byron Leftwich to get that starting spot. They're just trying to get that competitive thing going again.
"I just feel like what we needed as an offense wasn't a new quarterback, we just needed another year amongst each other because we had a lot of new players come in. You see a team like the Patriots or the Steelers or the Colts, those guys [have] been in the same system for the 10, 12 years together, and so that's what we're trying to grow right now."
But as Sapp intimated, you don't take a quarterback in the top half of the first round unless you're planning on him being your future. It will certainly be interesting to see how the quarterback situation plays out in Jacksonville, especially with the team's dominant offensive player seemingly so much on one side of things.
Per Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, Garrard has declined in each of the last four years. That's on the front office to a degree (Sign you're a hardcore football fan: You can name more than one Jags receiver), but it's clear that Gabbert is seen as the long-term answer … whether Jones-Drew likes it or not.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- David Garrard
- Warren Sapp