The Jacksonville Jaguars need a reliable quarterback.
There is only one problem.
Outside of left tackle Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville could use an upgrade at nearly every position.
Jacksonville owns the No.3 pick in this year’s NFL draft, which means Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or University of Central Florida’s Blake Bortles might be available. Each player is seemingly better than any of Jacksonville's current options.
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell may not agree.
“In today's day and age, if you can't get Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan, and they might not be available for the next 10 or 15 years, then you have to adapt and build the roster and do what's best for the organization," Caldwell told CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco. “And if a quarterback presents itself later in the draft, you take and develop him. Having a franchise guy makes the world a lot easier, though. It can erase a lot of mistakes you make. But if you force it, you can screw it up. I don't know if we're going to find that guy, but I hope we do.”
Jacksonville definitely knows about whiffing on quarterbacks.
The Jaguars had moderate success after drafting quarterbacks David Garrard and Byron Leftwich, but Blaine Gabbert has struggled since becoming a first-round pick in 2011. Gabbert had 4,357 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in three NFL seasons. He was placed on injured reserve last season after sustaining a right forearm injury.
Jacksonville’s Chad Henne appeared in 15 games last season (13 starts), and produced 3,241 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Decent numbers, but nothing to get excited about.
“I'd rather get backlash from that (not drafting a quarterback) than backlash from picking the wrong guy,” Caldwell told Prisco.
It explains why Caldwell appears interested in re-signing Henne.
“We have a lot of issues," Caldwell told Prisco. "We have a lot of places we need to get better. Chad did a pretty admirable job for us. He was .500 in his last eight games. It was his first year in the system. Just because he's a veteran doesn't mean you know the system. He has good leadership skills. Guys rallied around him. Our feeling is if we can upgrade the offensive line, get some playmakers, improve the running game, I think he can sustain us and be our starter until somebody presents himself.”
Unfortunately, for Jaguars fans, Caldwell is uncertain that franchise quarterback is available this year.
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