After seven weeks we’re starting to get a clear picture of a potential 2014 NFL Draft order and team needs. Moving forward Jone Dove will highlight a team and some prospects they could target in the upcoming draft. Since they’re the worst team in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars are up first.
The Jaguars are in the middle of what is another long and disappointing season. This team has a lot of needs and appears a long way away from competing for a playoff spot. As one of the two winless teams in the NFL, Jacksonville has a great chance to land the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.
Landing this pick would give the Jaguars plenty of intriguing options. The most logical target for Jacksonville would be Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. This would allow them to move on from the painful Blaine Gabbert era. Bridgewater would give Jacksonville an athletic, poised and extremely talented quarterback. He has the arm strength to attack all levels of the field as well as mental capacity to make sound decisions. The quarterback position is the most important position on the field. Jacksonville needs to find a long-term answer if they hope to get things moving in the right direction. Teaming Bridgewater with a receiving corps that features Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts would create a good young core.
However, Jacksonville has so many holes to fill that just adding Bridgewater won’t solve all the problems. This is why they need be sure to make good choice with the rest of their picks. It would make sense for them to target a pass rusher and some interior offensive line help.
A possible option in the second round is Virginia Tech’s James Gayle who is having a really nice season. Gayle features good quickness off the ball and the closing burst needed to generate pressure on the quarterback.
Brining in a pass rusher with Gayle’s potential would have a ripple effect on the entire defense. Pressure on the quarterback often results in poor decisions, mistakes and results in less time a receiver must be covered. Georgia’s Chris Burnette would be a nice day-3 option for the Jaguars who need help at guard. Burnette is a big-bodied player who also flashed solid athleticism. So far this year, he has shown more of a nasty streak and ability to generate a push off the line.
Another possible approach is that Jacksonville takes South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick and then looks to get their quarterback in the second round. It’s possible that quarterbacks like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Oregon’s Marcus Maroita are on the board at that point.
Jacksonville could even look to move back into the first round in order to insure they land one of the top quarterback prospects.