Disclaimer: Read this and enjoy for the sole purpose of entertainment. I am one person doing these write-ups on all 32 teams. I'm going to miss some things on your team so feel free to chime in and tell me where I may be steering your franchise wrong.
The Draft so far...
1. Luke Joekel, OT (KC)
As with any offense, you're only as successful as your quarterback. Well, we have Blaine Gabbert as our QB and haven't exactly been setting the football world on fire. In fact, he's been rather a wet blanket. Former GM Gene Smith used the tenth overall pick in the 2011 draft on Gabbert and dubbed him the franchise quarterback. That decision ultimately led to Smith's exit as Gabbert hasn't lived up to the lofty expectations placed on a top ten signal caller. The new GM, Dave Caldwell, stated he didn't want to use cap space to build the team, but rather, wanted to use the draft and then bring in pricey free agents after he has a base of good, young players. Well, I guess that's why he's gone too. You can't do one or the other and the Jags have a ton of money to spend. If we want to bring in fans, we have to win now, not five years from now after building strictly through the draft. So now I'm here as GM and we have a new head coach. Gabbert won't be handed the job any longer. If he wants to be our starting QB, he'll have to earn the job by competing for it. I need to see leadership from him. He needs to be the first guy in the facility and the last guy to leave. I don't know if he has that in him though.
To light a fire in him...
we'll bring in some competition. We'll try to get the fans excited and trade for local hero, Tim Tebow (if we can get him for a sixth rounder or less). He's not the best option by any means, but he's tough, gritty, mobile, fearless, and will hopefully sell ticket...all traits that have evaded Gabbert up to this point. Now, I don't expect that either Tebow or Gabbert will be the answer (although Tebow could have a chance in a read-option offense) so we'll bring in a veteran who's had some success. I'd go after Ryan Fitzpatrick who was recently released by the Bills. I'm not sure what happened in Buffalo, but I think he's a better player than what he showed last year. He should come at a reasonable price as he'll want to repair his reputation.
To give our quarterback an opportunity to show he belongs behind center, we have to give him the best o-line we can. We're good at left tackle, but there's a hole on the right side and an issue with depth after we released Guy Whimper and Steve Vallos is a free agent. Normally, you can find a decent tackle and plug him in on the right side, but if we end up going with Tebow (a lefty), we need a high-end right tackle more than most. As for the interior of the line, we have serviceable players at guard, but could use an upgrade at either spot. Both centers, Brad Meester and John Estes are unrestricted free agents that we will probably not bring back so we need to fill that vacancy.
The arrow is pointed up as far as our skill players are concerned. Between last year's first round pick, Justin Blackmon, and come-out-of-nowhere sensation Cecil Shorts, we're looking good with young wide receiver talent. With the unfortunate health issues Laurent Robinson is facing (multiple concussions in 2012), we had to release him before paying out his bonus. We wish him the best and hope he recovers and plays football again someday. His exodus leaves us with a need to find a number three guy. We have a former first rounder at tight end with Mercedes Lewis. I feel like he's not been given the chance to show his full ability throughout his career in Jacksonville and we're going to try to make him more of a focal point. If we can land Fitzpatrick, we know he'll lean on his tight end from the success Scott Chandler showed in Buffalo. At running back, we have one of the best in Maurice Jones-Drew, but our running back depth is a serious issue.
Looking at the defensive stats from last year, one jumps out at me as clearly unacceptable. In 2012, the Jags finished dead last in sacks. In today's passing league, you simply can't expect to win if you can't pressure the opposing QB. We did bring in Jason Babin last year after he was released by the Eagles and he performed well, but he's an older player and we need additional talent at the end position. We have Jeremy Mincey, but he hasn't shown consistency. We also drafted Andre Branch in the second round last year, but he's been a disappointment so far. I'm hoping he comes around, but sometimes these college defensive ends just never adjust to the speed and strength they go up against in the NFL. I still have hope for him, but as they say, hope is not a plan. We could use a pass-rushing defensive tackle as well, but you can't fix everything in one year and we have decent enough tackles that we don't need an immediate change.
At outside linebacker, with Daryl Smith leaving via free agency, and a lack of talent on the other side, we had a need at both outside positions. We've recently signed Geno Hayes, but the other spot remains an issue. Even depth should be addressed as our backups cannot be relied upon as starters when we come calling. We've got a quality middle linebacker in Paul Posluszny.
In the secondary, we need corners...a lot of corners. Mathis is long in the tooth and is a free agent who will not be back. Middleton is decent, but decent will lose more games than it wins. Aaron Ross has gone back to New York. We're going to face an Indy team twice a year with a young stud at QB who will only get better, which is scary when you consider he set a rookie record for yards by throwing for over 4,000. This position needs immediate attention right along with pass rusher. Our safeties are solid and would look even better with improved play from the corners.
On to the draft:
Because this team has so many holes to address, we can actually go in several directions with this pick. We could go with Eric Fisher to help solidify our offensive line. He's a stud offensive tackle. We could go with Jarvis Jones at outside linebacker. He's got the talent to be this year's Von Miller and we could certainly use a playmaker like that. We can address our need at defensive end and take a guy like Demonte Moore, Bjeorn Werner, Ezekiel Ansah or Dion Jordan. Unfortunately, I'm looking at all the names I wrote down, and most have holes or just don't fit our needs. Fisher didn't face elite talent at the collegiate level. Every one of the pass rushers have questions marks. Moore had a terrible Combine, Werner is a high motor guy without an elite first step, Ansah has very little football experience, and Jordan, a player I love, is under 250 pounds and is better suited to play outside linebacker in the 3-4. As far as Jones, there was a diagnosis of spinal stenosis a could years ago. While trying to figure out what to do, the solution dawns on us and we receive a call. The offer: trade the second overall pick for Darrelle Revis. He's definitely one of the best players in the game today and probably better than anyone else we could bring in, but my concern with him is that he's always threatening to hold out no matter how much he makes. He's also coming off a severe injury. In the end, I offer up our second round pick, but they don't go for it so with the second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select, Jarvis Jones, linebacker, Georgia. The docs have checked out Jones and given us the green light to draft him and we don't hesitate. This guy led the nation last year in sacks with 14.5 and tacked on another 24.5 tackles for loss. He can play in the 4-3 or the 3-4 defense and with him on the squad, I highly doubt we're last in sacks again.
On day two, we have the first pick. This is probably the best pick in this draft. All 32 teams are looking over players that slipped out of the first round. Some teams will want to trade up for someone and we start taking calls. With multiple suitors for this pick, we should be able to sell high and get a nice return. After the offers come in, the only one that made us almost pull the trigger was one from San Francisco as they wanted to trade their second, second round pick (61 overall), plus one of their thirds (74 overall) and a fifth. I just didn't want to drop back nearly 30 spots so we decide to stay here and select Tank Carradine. Before getting injured last year, this guy was leading Florida State in sacks (11) and is a prospect that seems to be getting lost. He'd easily be a top 15 talent had he stayed healthy and with him and Jones, our pass rush should be set for a long time.
In the third round, if he's still there, I'm drafting E.J. Manuel and if he's not there, I'll draft Tyler Wilson. Either one of these guys could develop (behind Fitzpatrick) and be a franchise guy. We'll cut either Tebow or Gabbert. I like Manuel because he's been a winner in college and has been the MVP of multiple Bowl games. I like Wilson because he was great in 2011 and I'm not counting 2012 against him with all the issues that school had and the fact he lost three WRs to the NFL. Rounds 4-7, I'm looking at BPA, as I always do, but will focus on secondary help and o-line, in no particular order.