I'm going to start on a tangent. Every time I need to type "Jaguars", my fingers actually type "Jaguards". Seriously, can't help it. Probably Freudian or something, but in a non-Oedipal way.
Anyway, let's start by identifying the new Jaguars administration. This is important because, well, no Gene Smith (previous GM) means less lulz.
- GM - David Caldwell, previously Director of Player Personnel for Atlanta Falcons
- HC - Gus Bradley, previously DC for Seattle Seahawks
- OC - Jedd Fisch, previously OC for Miami Hurricanes
- DC - Bob Babich, previously LB coach for Chicago Bears
Notice the competent GM and HC. Bummer.
Rather than talking about what the Jacksonville Jaguars need, it's easier to talk about what they DON'T need in the first round. Aaaaand glancing over the forecasted depth chart, every position could be dramatically improved with a first-round pick (except RB, though this is a contract year for MJD). NFL.com calls it the weakest roster in the league.
Since the Jaguards (did it again, dangit; leaving it this time) need nearly everything, let’s look at what the draft reasonably offers in the Top 10 ("reasonable" is a new word being associated with the Jaguars this season due to the departure of Gene Smith). There are QBs, OTs, Gs, DTs, DE/OLBs, and a CB.
- QB – Some allege that the Jags have a lot of interest in Geno Smith. I’m not buying it. Yes, Blame Gabbert is not good, but I’d give Jedd Fisch one year to make an assessment (like Kubes gave David Carr one year). Besides, the QBs in next year’s draft are a much better lot (four could go in the Top 10, which is inevitably where the Jags will draft next season).
- OT – Eugene Monroe is a solid, above average LT. Not elite, so a top LT in the draft is a reasonable consideration since it would allow the lesser of the two to play RT. Also, Monroe, like MJD, will be a free agent next year.
- G – Well, a G has never been selected as high as #2, but Chance Warmack could be that guy…if Gene Smith were still drafting. Should be a great pro (NFL.com's top-rated prospect), but taking him at #2 would be a reach.
- DT – The Jags signed Roy Miller and have Tyson Alualu. Not gonna light the world on fire, but better than our DTs! Actually a decent set of DTs; can’t see them picking a DT as a result.
- DE/OLB – They have Jason Babin, who was decent for them in limited action, and last year’s 2nd-round pick out of Clemson, Andre Branch. Dion Jordan is commonly mocked to the Jags but, between Babin and Branch vying for the LEO backer spot in Bradley’s defense, I just don’t see them adding another potential LEO.
- CB – Like G, a CB has never been drafted as high as #2. The Jags desperately need help at CB, but Gus Bradley is fond of bigger CBs (see Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, both of whom were low-end picks/acquisitions). Dee Milliner, on the other hand, is fast but only 5’11". Just not happening for these Jags.
If I were the Jags, I’d trade this pick to someone who wants Geno Smith, even if it doesn’t mean getting the exorbitant value that the Rams got last year, or even fair value for that matter. No one at #2 seems to be a good value for the Jags. Still, I have to pick.
I know the defense is depleted and their pass-rush last year was non-existent. But to give Gabbert a chance and maybe, just maybe (but totally probably not), keep MJD, the OL needs to be upgraded.
The Pick: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan .
This pick insulates the Jags against the possibility of being without a quality tackle if Monroe leaves next year. Also, it gives Gabbert one "prove it" year with the new administration and two solid tackles. While I worry about Eric Fisher not having faced the competition that Luke Joeckel did, Joe Staley, a top tackle in the NFL and also a Central Michigan alum, had the same knock on him. I’ll trust all of the scouting reports that have Fisher rated as a franchise LT and that’s who I’ll take with the #2 pick.
Editor's Note: The Raiders, and thus Goud, are now on the clock. Since this pick was published late, the deadline to e-mail me the Raiders' pick will be pushed back to 11 p.m. CDT tonight.