By Daniel Schmelzer @D_Schmelzer on March 25, 2014
After a 4-12 record last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will once again pick near the top of the NFL Draft. If head coach Gus Bradley is to be successful, the Jaguars must continue to rebuild their roster and add some impact talent. They made some nice moves in free agency, but there is still plenty of work to do. The Jaguars have the 3rd pick in the draft, and they must land an impact player at a position of need.
The Jaguars have Chad Henne coming back at the QB position, but he is really nothing more than a nice veteran backup. Targeting a QB with their first-round pick is obvious. Teddy Bridgewater was once considered the best QB in this draft, but his poor pro day has made his stock fall. I do not think Jacksonville will take Bridgewater, but he is a talented and fairly safe prospect who they must at least consider.
You rarely see a player from a small school like the University of Buffalo go in the top five picks, but Khalil Mack certainly has that upside. Mack is an athletic freak with a ton of versatility. He can fit into any system, is great against the run and in pass coverage. His pass rush skills could use some work, but the talent is certainly there for improvement. Mack is a legitimate option for the Jaguars with the 3rd pick.
Quite possibly the riskiest player in the draft, Johnny Manziel also represents a ton of upside. The former Heisman Trophy winner raises plenty of concerns when considering his game at the next level, but Manziel is simply a play-maker at the QB position. The Jaguars may elect to go a safer route with such an important pick and nobody would blame them, but Manziel could instantly change the direction of the franchise. He is certainly tempting.
Blake Bortles is the fastest rising QB in this draft, and he's a serious contender to go first overall. He has great play-making abilities and a strong arm with great size and athleticism, and he has shown great accuracy at times. If Bortles is there for the Jaguars at the 3rd pick, they will have to think long and hard about selecting him. He could also instantly change the direction of the franchise.
Jadeveon Clowney is the most talented prospect in this draft. He has all the size, speed and athleticism that you could dream of in a pass rusher. There are plenty of questions surrounding his work ethic, but Clowney has clear Hall of Fame upside. In a passing league, pass rushers are becoming more and more valuable. They would still need to figure out the QB position, but Clowney would be a great pick for the Jaguars.
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