In the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel to strengthen a porous offensive line. Looking ahead to the second and third round, the Jaguars will now need to focus their attention on a pass-rusher. Unless a trade happens, the Jaguars are on the clock to make the first pick in the second round.
The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised some by selecting Joeckel in the first. However, as I wrote last night, there are several reasons why Joeckel makes sense for the Jaguars. The offensive line allowed the quarterback, whether it was Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne, to be hit over 100 times last season. In a quarterback league, that is way too many.
With that being said, drafting Joeckel meant the Jaguars chose not to take a top talent to improve their pass rush. The defense only had 20 sacks last year—fewer than J.J. Watt and every other team in the NFL. Furthermore, the Jaguars defense allowed the third-most points per game, and third-most yards per game. Finding somebody to put pressure on the quarterback will do wonders for this defense.
I mentioned on Monday that safety Jonathan Cyprien would be tough to ignore if available at the 33rd pick. The Jaguars could also address their pass-rushing problems and take Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, who Matt Miller has rated as the best pass-rusher and best prospect among this year's defensive ends.
With Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib available, the Jaguars could also draft a quarterback who could compete with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne to become the starter for the 2013 season. However, Mark Long of the Associated Press has reported that the Jaguars are not looking at a quarterback at No. 33.
A third scenario for the Jaguars involves trading out of that pick to acquire more draft picks. On day one as the general manager, Dave Caldwell acknowledged that he will rebuild the team with a special emphasis on the draft and undrafted free agents. If he can get at least one more pick in the middle rounds of this draft, it will help the team a lot.
There are several different ways the Jaguars could go with the rest of the draft, which is part of the fun in watching and playing general manager. We’ll see how things play out when the draft resumes at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight.