Jags seek several starters in draft, just not a QB

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm •  Published: May 6, 2014
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping to get several instant starters in the NFL draft.

They could be at just about any position — except quarterback.

Although owner Shad Khan said the team would draft as many as two signal callers, general manager Dave Caldwell made it clear that none of the quarterbacks in this year's draft is ready to step in and play right away. Not even for Jacksonville, which already has made Chad Henne the starter for 2014.

"I think the majority of this (quarterback) class has a ways to go," Caldwell said.

The Jaguars have the third overall pick in Thursday night's first round — selecting in the top 10 for the seventh consecutive year — and 10 choices thereafter. With a roster still being overhauled after winning just six games over the last two seasons, Jacksonville would prefer to trade down from No. 3 and garner even more picks.

If not, the team likely will address an area of need, possibly selecting versatile Buffalo linebacker/defensive end Khalil Mack or dynamic Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins.

Jacksonville signed Seattle defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant in free agency, and re-signed defensive end Jason Babin, but all of them are at least 30 years old. Mack would fit perfectly in Jacksonville's hybrid Leo position and give second-year head coach Gus Bradley a young pass rusher to potentially become the centerpiece of his defense.

Watkins would provide one of the league's worst offenses a big-time playmaker and help offset the loss of suspended receiver Justin Blackmon. Caldwell said last week he would be surprised if Blackmon, suspended indefinitely for repeated violations of the league's substance-abuse policy, played next season.

The Jaguars are likely to address the quarterback position in later rounds, possibly 39th overall.

Caldwell, Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch had a private workout with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, opting to take a second look at Louisville's star after his oft-criticized pro day.

"We just wanted to make sure on what we were seeing and compare that to tape," Caldwell said. "His (pro day) was a very strict workout and wasn't tailored to what our offense would be, so we did a workout similar to our offense.

"I don't know many years where there's a lot that come out and are definitely ready," Caldwell said of the QBs. "Andrew Luck came out and he was ready. Matt Ryan, when Matt came up, he was truly ready and he proved he was. But to say we're going to get this guy in and he's going to be ready to go doesn't happen that often."

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