New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is serious about having competition at every position this offseason, but no positional competition will be more scrutinized than the one for the starting quarterback job which is already in full swing during the team’s first minicamp this week.
The Jaguars still currently have only two quarterbacks on their roster, Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, but the two guys have split the reps with the first-team offense this week in practice. With only two quarterbacks, it is also hard to envision a scenario in which the Jaguars do not draft a quarterback during next week’s NFL Draft.
The new regime in Jacksonville has said all of the right things so far this offseason in terms of Gabbert, who is only two years removed from being a top ten selection at the quarterback position. However, they do not owe Gabbert any more than a chance to win the starting quarterback job on the practice field this offseason. New regimes typically mean new quarterbacks and Gabbert seems resigned to the fact that Henne will not be his only competition before it is all said and done.
“We have two quarterbacks on the roster, so we know we have to have more going into camp,” Gabbert told the media following practice on Wednesday.
Where that quarterback comes from will tell a lot about how the Jaguars feel about Gabbert moving forward. If the Jaguars use one of their first two draft picks on a quarterback like Geno Smith or Ryan Nassib, it could be an indication that they are not comfortable with Gabbert moving forward. If they use a mid-round pick on a developmental quarterback prospect, it may be a sign that they are comfortable giving Gabbert another year to prove his talent.
Regardless of what happens in the draft next week, it is clear that Gabbert is by no means going to be handed the starting quarterback job this season.