Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) on the sidelines during a game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Oakland won 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
It’s hard to make any definitive calls about how the 2013 season will shape up but at least one thing is clear. The Jacksonville Jaguars are terrible. After another ugly offensive performance and no great prospects for the season, is it fair to ask what they will do with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft?
Chad Henne ousts Blaine Gabbert but not Oakland Raiders
Eleven points scored in two week of 21st century pro football, a league built on offense is pretty sad. The Jacksonville Jaguars can’t seem to get out of a funk they’ve been in for going on three season. One might trace it back to the day they made Blaine Gabbert the starting quarterback. Jags fans, however few are left, can rest assured that colossal disaster was finally put to rest. In relief of Gabbert, who was out with an injured hand, backup Chad Henne had a mistake-free debut against the Oakland Raiders with 241 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately he had no answers for a totally anemic running game that was hampered further by an injury to Maurice Jones-Drew. On the flip side, the Raiders running game was in high gear as Darren McFadden and Terrelle Pryor gashed the Jacksonville defense for 179 yards. After an early touchdown they rode the left foot of Sebastian Janikowski to a 19-9 victory. The hard part to swallow for the Jaguars is their schedule doesn’t get much easier after this. They still have to play teams like Seattle, San Francisco and Denver with very few teams in between they might actually beat. That is perhaps the biggest reason they are a runaway favorite to top the 2014 NFL draft board.
Teddy Bridgewater seems like the runaway choice unless Gus Bradley blinks
Looking ahead to next May, the draft boards still aren’t entirely clear with only three weeks of college football in the books. However, from the standpoint of the Jacksonville Jaguars, every problem they have stems from the offense. They need a new offensive direction and that starts at quarterback. If anybody is seeking a quarterback in that draft class, then at present there is a definite consensus top choice. That is Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville. Riding all kinds of momentum after his outstanding dissection of Florida in the Sugar Bowl last season, he has looked the part of a pro-ready quarterback through three weeks of the 2013 college season. He’s already over 1,000 yards passing with 10 touchdowns to just one interception and over a 70% completion percentage. While the stats may favor players like Johnny Manziel at present, the truth is scouts believe Bridgewater is the best pro quarterback prospect in the 2014 class. He is exactly the kind of player the Jaguars can build a team around. That is unless head coach Gus Bradley blinks. Considering he is a defensive head coach, like anybody else he will want to build his team through his vision. So would he be able to pass a prospect like Jadeveon Clowney, considered the best defensive talent seen at his position in a decade?
That is the question the Jacksonville Jaguars will have to juggle with this coming off-season.