As the 2013 NFL draft approaches, the needs of all 32 NFL franchises are becoming more clear. Starting spots are being filled and vacated via free agency and this shuffling will continue during the course of the offseason. The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a spot where they have a new head coach in Gus Bradley who promises to bring a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the franchise along with an upgraded and physical defense. But one thing he didn’t bring with him was a new quarterback, and as Bradley had to have seen last season when he was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, the quarterback really does make all the difference.
So, with the Jaguars sitting pretty holding onto the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft, and a dreadful quarterback situation, is there really any way they pass on West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, if he’s there? I can’t see how, but up until this point, there has been almost no chatter out of the Jaguars organization about interest in Smith at all. Does this mean the Jaguars are hoping to win with quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne? The two combined for a pedestrian 74.7 quarterback rating and 20 touchdowns with 17 interceptions and 3,774 passing yards.
As I pointed out in my scouting report of Smith, when he’s on, he’s as good as it gets in terms of making quick reads and accurate throws. His athleticism is an untapped resource teams could really use. I understand the theory that this draft class doesn’t have the elite talent of some in the past, but the fact that Smith could be sitting there for the Jaguars and they don’t have a quarterback on the roster who has shown he can turn this franchise around, why would they not take a chance? Is it better to possibly improve this team’s pass rush with the no. 2 pick or possibly improve the most important position on the field for essentially the same price? The importance of drafting a quarterback when you need one cannot be denied, and simply recycling the same average players is just bad business.
Jaguars fans have suffered for many seasons and this franchise has not put a winner on the field. They deserve the chance to be competitive and as much as fans want to believe they can do this with the quarterbacks they already have, I just don’t see it. Smith is too talented and has too much potential for the Jaguars to let him slide to another team while they add a player who may or may not improve their defense. That’s not how winning franchises do business.