From the need to acquire a franchise quarterback to adding versatile players who can help this defense grow, the 2014 draft is going to be an essential component in rebuilding this franchise the right way.
Combining recent news with extensive film study sessions, and fusing it together with a wealth of scouting reports, it's now time to check out a full seven-round mock draft for the Jaguars.
All 2014 draft projections provided by NFLDraftScout.com (h/t CBSSports.com) unless noted otherwise.
All CFB stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com, unless noted otherwise.
All stats provided by NFL.com unless noted otherwise.
Despite concerns over this year's crop of quarterbacks, Jaguars owner Shad Khan told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union (subscription required) that his team will pursue a quarterback or two in the upcoming draft.
Explaining the logic behind his decision, Khan said, "It's one of the maxims in modern football—the quarterback is key... You will get no debate on that. It's 53 people on a team, but that one person really, really makes a difference."
Using Khan's words as a guiding light, the quarterback who makes the most sense for the Jaguars is Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville.
When talking about Bridgewater's ability, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted, "Heading into the pre-draft months, no player looks more like a franchise quarterback than Teddy Bridgewater."
Bridgewater's outstanding football IQ, impressive mobility and stellar accuracy represent some of the key ingredients NFL team's look for in a franchise quarterback.
Talking about his accuracy in further detail, Greg Peshek of Rotoworld.com charted all of the throws some of the "top-tier" quarterback prospects made during the 2013 season to see who stood out.
Looking at the chart, Bridgewater performed better than his peers in every major category outside of throwing the ball deep—even in that category, Bridgewater was just five percent behind leader Johnny Manziel.
The knock on Bridgewater is his long-term durability. As Dane Brugler and Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com (h/t CBSSports.com) mentioned, "Some durability concerns after all the hits he (Bridgewater) has taken over his career, specifically to his wrist and ankle."
Still, on film it's easy to recognize how smart, methodical and talented of a quarterback this young man is. That's why if they get the chance, passing on a player like Bridgewater is one mistake the Jaguars can't afford to make.
Aside from their need to find a franchise quarterback, the Jaguars could really use an influx of talented pass-rushers to help out on the defensive side of the ball.
Stanford's Trent Murphy is a guy who can come in and make his presence felt right away. At 6'6", Murphy's size makes him a versatile defender who can find different ways to get after the quarterback.
Analyzing his game, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller said:
Murphy isn't a quick-twitch athlete, to use an older reference. He won't blow scouts away with straight-line speed or jaw-dropping explosiveness, but he's a smart technician who uses his hands well to disengage from blockers. Watch Murphy against Michigan State and you'll see No. 93 using his hands to chop down the punch of blockers and then accelerate to get into the backfield. That's a veteran NFL pass-rushing move, and Murphy is already showing strong use of it.
For Jacksonville, finishing the last two seasons registering the fewest sacks in the NFL is a major problem that has to be addressed.
Projected to be a second-round draft pick, Murphy on film is a guy who just looks like an NFL-caliber pass-rusher.
In today's NFL, the presence of big-bodied wide receivers has paved the way for taller, more physical cornerbacks to garner more attention.
Searching for those type of defensive backs in this year's draft, Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste is a name that stands out.
The 6'3", 220-pound cornerback finished his senior season with four interceptions, one sack and 41 total tackles. A productive asset for the Cornhuskers, Jean-Baptiste's skill set and size translate well to the next level.
Discussing the impressive attributes he saw on display from Jean-Baptiste throughout the Senior Bowl process, Bleacher Report's Chris Trapasso said, "In press man coverage, Jean-Baptiste dominated the North receivers all practice."
Whether it's a fair assessment or not, the Nebraska defensive back is going to draw comparisons to Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
Having worked with Sherman and Browner during his time as defensive coordinator in Seattle, Coach Bradley has seen first-hand how physical defensive backs can alter the course of the football game.
For Jacksonville, Jean-Baptiste's size and ability to impose his will on opposing wide receivers makes him a top-tier prospect.
Currently projected be drafted in the third round, Jean-Baptiste is a perfect fit for the physical brand of defense Bradley is trying to build down in Jacksonville.
With Maurice Jones-Drew set to hit free agency, Jacksonville's quest to find a dynamic running back might lead to Lache Seastrunk out of Baylor.
An energetic runner by design, Seastrunk is a player who dazzles whenever he gets the football in his hands. Turn on the tape and fans will find a young man who resembles Philadelphia Eagles superstar running back LeSean McCoy at times.
Having a keen understanding for how to manipulate and contort his body to confuse oncoming defenders defines who he is as a runner. Because of that ability to make people miss in the open field, Seastrunk would provide Jacksonville's offense with a whole new dimension.
Listed as a fourth-round draft pick, it's safe to assume that the Jaguars' running attack would look a whole lot better with Seastrunk sitting in the backfield.
Inside linebacker Lamin Barrow out of LSU is one player who could be headed for Jacksonville this May.
According to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com, Barrow impressed Coach Bradley during the time he spent at the Senior Bowl.
Talking in further detail about his game to Goodbread, Bradley said:
He did a nice job in practice. What I noticed with him is, it's different techniques, what we're teaching them. (His) ability to adjust to what we're asking, and then make corrections, is great... He had a situation in practice where he kind of had the wrong drop, we corrected him, the next play he corrected it and made a great play. Things like that are showing up with those guys.
A player who shines on film when he's asked to stop the run, Barrow is a prospect who still has a ton of room to grow.
Finishing the 2013 season with 91 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, despite his flaws in coverage, Barrow is a guy who possesses all the physical tools needed to be a productive player in the NFL.
That's why adding him into the mix makes a lot of sense for the Jaguars. Aside from the depth he would provide this defense with, Barrow's ability to find ways to get into the backfield makes him a valuable commodity for a young Jacksonville defense looking to create constant channels of disruption.
As previously mentioned in the Teddy Bridgewater slide, Jaguars owner Shad Khan has gone on record saying his team will be looking to land possibly more than one quarterback in the upcoming draft.
If that theory holds true, San Jose State quarterback David Fales would be a logical choice for this team.
Fales is a player who brings a lot of positive elements with him to the table. His impressive accuracy and footwork instantly make him a valuable commodity for this franchise.
As Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com (h/t CBSSports.com) notes, the knock on Fales is that he "lacks elite arm strength." Still, as Bleacher Report's Matt Miller highlighted in his Senior Bowl notes, one scout has already compared Fales to a "shorter Alex Smith."
Fans may argue that if the Jaguars take a quarterback in the first round, then the team should use this pick to address another position of need. But, in a league predicated on sound quarterback play, having two reliable signal-callers on this roster could be just what the doctor ordered.
It was Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk who broke the news that Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin tore his ACL during a practice session at the 2014 Senior Bowl.
Because of that unfortunate injury, Colvin's draft stock has tanked—he's now projected to fall between the sixth and seventh round.
Putting his injury aside, Colvin is still a talented defensive back who has pieced together an impressive body of work on film.
Just how talented is he? Take this for what it's worth: Before he went down with an ACL injury, Greg A. Bedard of MMQB.com said that Colvin "looked like a first-rounder."
Lost in a draft that seems to be focused on "bigger" cornerbacks, the 5'11" playmaker out of Oklahoma is going be a fantastic late-round pick for any team that rolls the dice on him.
For Jacksonville, drafting Colvin in the fifth round makes a ton of sense. After giving up 29 passing touchdowns during the 2013 season, finding players who can help improve this secondary has to be one of the team's top priorities.
Injury or not, the skill set Colvin has is undeniable. He's smart, focused and whenever he's out there on the field, he always finds a way to contribute. Players like that are essential building blocks to sustaining long-term success.
Looking to add another body to help shore up their defensive line, University of California defensive tackle Deandre Coleman is a name fans should become familiar with.
Highlighting players who impressed Jacksonville's coaching staff throughout the Senior Bowl process, Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union mentioned Coleman's name.
A monstrosity of a football player, it's hard not to notice the 315-pound big man on film.
Even though he possesses all the physical tools you'd want in a run-stuffing defensive tackle, Coleman still has things he needs to work on at the next level if he wants to become a dominant player.
Analyzing what he saw on tape, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com (h/t CBSSports.com) said Coleman "lacks the agility and burst to offer much against the pass. Stands up too often at the snap, negating his own strength."
Look, there's no doubt that Coleman is a talented young man. The sheer size and strength he's been blessed with makes him worthy of a fifth-round pick. But what makes him a perfect fit for Jacksonville is the fact that he's already impressed Coach Gus Bradley and his staff.
Even though they already drafted Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk earlier in this mock draft, the Jaguars won't be able to pass up on Boston College tailback Andre Williams in Round 6.
Unlike Seastrunk, Williams is a between-the-tackles runner who has a habit of steamrolling defenders. As Bleacher Report's Michael Felder wrote, "He (Williams) takes pride in running between the tackles, making it hard on defensive backs and forcing defenses to bring plenty of bodies to get him on the ground."
If you're looking for speed and lateral quickness, Williams isn't your guy. But if you're in the market for a big tailback who is durable—Williams finished the 2013 season with 355 carries for 2,117 yards and 18 touchdowns—then you're going to fall in love with Williams.
Projected to fall into the sixth round by Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller, adding a grinder like Williams would help this team get better on offense from Day 1.
Entering the final round of the 2014 draft, Jacksonville has to go out and select the best player available.
If his current projection holds up, Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard could be the guy the Jaguars are looking for.
NFL.com Media analyst Bucky Brooks noted that while he may not be a premier prospect, Ikard showed off his "good instincts and awareness" while attending the 2014 East-West Shrine Game.
With Jaguars center Brad Meester now retired, the team clearly has a void they are going to have to fill. Whether they address it in free agency or earlier in the draft, the 6'3" Ikard is still the type of late-round draft pick who should be a given a chance to compete for the position.