Trying to predict what the Jaguars will do in next week's draft is comparable to trying to predict what the economy will be like in six months. It should be good news on both fronts, but when one looks back at the Jaguars' track record in first-round draft picks over the years, you might have more success in forecasting the economic future of the country. To complicate matters, this is the first year for general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley and neither of them have offered much as to the direction that the team could be going with their first two picks (2, 33). And that could be any number of directions. The Jaguars have so many holes to fill, the most popular choice for what they do with the second pick of the draft is to trade it. But can a willing partner be found? The latest rumor has Atlanta showing some interest in moving up the draft board to the No. 2 spot. If their offer was to contain multiple second- and third-round picks, look for the Jaguars to jump at the opportunity to make the trade. The one directive that Caldwell has made and seems intent on adhering to, is that the Jaguars will build through the draft. The only way to speed up the process is to have more picks. Thus the desire to trade from their lofty No. 2 spot, to a middle-of-the-first round pick accompanied by extra second- and/or third-round choices. The Jaguars needs are bountiful. With last year's top three cornerbacks all departed either on their own or through a push from the team, the secondary is certainly a need. It wouldn't be so crucial if the Jaguars had a good enough pass rush, but their front four was inept at getting to quarterbacks. Thus the need for a strong pass rusher. Guy Whimper started and ended the season as the team's right tackle. In between those starts, Cameron Bradfield started 11 consecutive games at right tackle. But by the end of the season, Bradfield was benched for poor play and the team returned to Whimper for the final couple of games. He's since been released, however and the team hasn't expressed any indication that they feel comfortable in going back to Bradfield. And then there's the quarterback spot where the much-maligned Blaine Gabbert returns for his third season with the team, trying to win the starting job on a permanent basis as well as a fan base that has yet to endorse the 23-year-old signal-caller. Veteran Chad Henne missed out on his chance to win the starting job permanently last year when Gabbert missed the final six games with a shoulder injury. Caldwell and Bradley have both thrown out enough accolades about Gabbert that it doesn't appear the Jaguars will pull an early string and go for the likes of Geno Smith with the No. 2 pick. Gabbert is likely to get the opportunity this season to show that he is indeed the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars. But a middle-round pick at quarterback could be made if the Jaguars deem it appropriate. Otherwise they'll wait a season and if Gabbert doesn't show enough this fall, the quarterback spot will become the No. 1 priority at this time next season. Whoever the pick is at No. 2 or at 33 when the Jaguars pick first on the second day, only three people are likely to know for certain who will be selected - Caldwell, Bradley and owner Shad Khan. That has all but eliminated the possibility of leaks from within the inner circles, leaving pundits to strictly guess where they think the Jaguars will go with their first couple of picks. With new people involved in making the selections and the Jaguars having so many holes to fill, it's left the speculation as to who the team will pick at a fevered pitch. The only thing for certain - it needs to be a franchise pick who is destined for multiple Pro Bowl appearances in his career.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football