Next steps for the Jags, Browns

Evaluating best draft approach for two teams with promising rebuilds

Updated: April 11, 2014, 6:50 PM ET
By Field Yates | ESPN Insider

Sammy WatkinsJoshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY SportsSammy Watkins would be an intriguing option for either the Jaguars or the Browns.

The Jaguars and Browns find themselves tied together right now by center Alex Mack, the player to whom Cleveland applied the transition tag and Jacksonville has made an offer.

Each is always in, well, a transitional period, aiming to dig itself out from near the bottom of the standings and into the postseason mix. The process of doing so extends beyond one offseason -- the Seahawks' Super Bowl win this past season was several years in the making -- but free agency, the draft and roster development are critical components to roster construction.

How each team has approached its respective rebuild has been different and unique, but both appear to be on the right path -- and potentially close to playoff contention if they can continue to make the right moves. Let's zone in on some of their methodology and figure out what their next steps should be in this year's draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Free-agency approach: Jacksonville has been busy, adding veterans such as defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive lineman Red Bryant, guard Zane Beadles, running back Toby Gerhart, defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and linebacker Dekoda Watson.

"They remind me a lot of the Chiefs in 2010," said an AFC front-office member. "It's Year 2 for the new regime and they are spending more money on free agents and have some extra draft picks. They'll use the infusion of new players to hopefully propel themselves out of the basement [as Kansas City did in 2010]."

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.