2013 NFL Draft: Top 5 Priorities for the Jacksonville Jaguars

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Jacksonville Jaguars Must Address These 5 Priorities in 2013 NFL Draft

Jacksonville Jaguars Must Address These 5 Priorities in 2013 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Jacksonville Jaguars have any chance of making noise in the 2013-14 NFL season? After a 2-14 season and their third different head coach in as many seasons, the Jaguars have a long road ahead of them. They’ll look to compete in an AFC South division that already had two playoff representatives from one year ago.

First-year Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley may find inspiration from one of his divisional rivals. In 2012, the Indianapolis Colts were coming off a 2-14 season with a new coaching staff and rookie quarterback. Things got more complicated when head coach Chuck Pagano missed most of the season for cancer treatment.

That first season out of the Peyton Manning era went much better than most spectators had anticipated. Andrew Luck led the Colts to a handful of last-minute wins and an 11-5 record. That was good enough for a wild-card berth and a road game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

Unfortunately, the Jaguars won’t have any Luck in this draft. And unless Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert improve significantly, they’re not the long-term answers. Some folks would consider anything better than a fourth-place finish in the AFC South as a success. That won’t come easy after the Tennessee Titans upgraded a lot of roster deficiencies from the previous season.

This slideshow features the top five priorities for the Jaguars during the 2013 NFL Draft. The Jaguars have many opportunities for players who want to become Week 1 starters. Who should they target with the No. 2 pick? Continue with slideshow.

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Cornerback

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive backfield was a concern even before Rashean Mathis became a free agent. Mathis isn’t expected to return. The Jaguars need to bolster their cornerback depth. They also need someone who can play the role of shutdown cornerback. Some mock drafters have penciled-in Dee Milliner at the No. 2 pick.

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Offensive Tackle

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s critical for this team to protect the quarterback. They’ll have a chance at either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, whoever the Kansas City Chiefs don’t take at No. 1. They may wait to draft another prospect in later rounds.

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Pass-Rush Specialist

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, the Jaguars finished the season with 20 sacks. That’s fewer than any other team. That won’t do for Gus Bradley, who established one of the NFL’s best and most consistent defenses when he was the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator. Look for him to find a 4-3 and 3-4 hybrid edge-rush specialist, someone like Dion Jordan.

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Quarterback

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Will Blaine Gabbert get another season to prove himself? If the former No. 10 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft wants to retain his job, he must improve his pocket awareness. The perceived lack of a great quarterback prospect may save Gabbert—for another year.

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Best Player Available

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many deficiencies on the Jaguars roster that they need to focus on best player available. That roster needs a lot of new life injected into it.

Joshua Huffman is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your LinkedIn and Google networks.


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