Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Jags' short-, long-term QB plans
By Tom Carpenter
In his first draft as general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars, David Caldwell opted against drafting any of the better quarterback prospects, which means that they will head into camp with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne in the mix. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports thinks Caldwell intends to assess the QBs he has and keep an eye looking down the road towards next year's draft.
"At the same time, Caldwell is going to spend much of the season studying the likes of [Teddy Bridgewater], [Tajh Boyd] and whoever else emerges as a candidate next year," he wrote. "Privately, the Jaguars were only too happy to see the Buffalo Bills (EJ Manuel) and New York Jets (Geno Smith) grab quarterbacks in the first two rounds of the draft. That likely takes both teams off the market for next year and leaves Jacksonville and Cleveland as the top likely teams in need."
Caldwell also reiterated once again Tuesday that Tim Tebow will not be in the mix, according to FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez.
While Caldwell is being patient with the QB corps on his roster, there's no getting around the fact that the position remains the Jags' biggest concern heading into the 2013 campaign:
Tom GowerRed Flags: AFC South
"In some ways, what the Jaguars did at quarterback this offseason is very admirable and a model for how similarly situated teams should treat a quarterback issue moving forward. With no quality veteran starter in the free-agent market, they did not overpay any of the average or below-average passers. Knowing they were not an average quarterback away from the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, they did not trade draft picks for a non-great player. Holding the second overall pick in the draft, they selected not the top quarterback on their board, but the best player available in tackle Luke Joeckel. At the same time, the Jaguars still have Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as their two potential starting quarterbacks. Gabbert was not very good (finishing 30th in Total QBR), but Henne was worse. It is very hard to win games with quarterback play as bad as the Jaguars have had recently, and generally requires a strong defense (the Jaguars ranked 28th by defensive DVOA in 2012) and a strong running game (the Jaguars ranked 27th by DVOA there). (DVOA is Football Outsiders' defense-adjusted value over average metric, explained here.) The addition of Joeckel and the return to health by Maurice Jones-Drew should mean an improved running game in 2013, but another season of Gabbert and/or Henne behind center likely means another high draft pick for Jacksonville in April 2014."