We’ve already started opening the doors on TFQ’s NFL Draft Advent Calendar! This is our Christmas – when NFL teams get to decide what sort of new toys they get under the tree to play with next season.
LIKE us on facebook
Our Draft Advent Calendar is basically a (over)simplified way to appraise each team’s offseason moves to this point, and what roster needs still remain that could be addressed via the draft. We’ve all had those years when nobody, fucking nobody buys what we put on our list. We’ve all also experienced that shitty moment when we realize that the gift we want to get is no longer available in stores. As such, we’re not going to predict which college players will go to which team. Rather, we’re appraising each NFL team to this point, and what position(s) they might want to address when the last advent door is opened and the wise men start going off like a bunch of gun lobbyists.
Door #7 – The Jaguars
2012 finish: 2-14; missed playoffs (no shit)
TOTAL PICKS: 7
There’s a reason this analysis will be shorter than usual. It’s because Jacksonville sucks. Stuck in a toe-to-toe battle with the Jets for the worst roster in the NFL, the Jaguars have done this so far in the offseason to change that:
Signed C Brad Meester, RB Justin Forsett, LB Geno Hayes
Re-signed (slot)WR Jordan Shipley
Cut the newly concussion-prone (and widely overpaid by the Jags) WR Laurent Robinson
This is the type of uninspiring, patronizing and shitty offseason one would expect from a basement dweller. But in this franchise’s defense, the front office is in a transition period. Owner Shad (Shaka) Khan is new to the cutthroat NFL ownership game, and GM David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley are entering the first season at their respective jobs. After rumors abounded that Khan’s son, Tony, might take over general manager duties for the team, reason prevailed for once in Jacksonville and the sabermetrician is staying in his place while Caldwell brings his savvy from being the tutelage of Atlanta’s trendy GM, Thomas Dimitroff. Bradley comes over from Seattle, where he was the coordinator of a defense that went from below average to elite in just a few seasons.
Bradley has his hands full, to say the least. Sure, this defense is young – only LB Paul Posluszny and D-linemen Jason Babin and C.J. Moseley have seven years of experience or more – but it’s just as awful. The Jags ranked near the bottom of the league in many statistical categories, and could benefit from serious upgrades at almost any position.
However, I expect Jacksonville to draft West Virginia QB Geno Smith with the second overall pick. Blaine “Blame” Gabbert has been in the spotlight recently, calling out anonymous sources for calling him out on his poor play. There are many – including myself – who think that drafting a quarterback just two years after having spent a first round pick on one is overkill. But this is a league so horny to find the next franchise QB that Buffalo dropped Ryan Fitzpatrick after giving him a $59 million-dollar contract over 6 years (with $24 million of that guaranteed, no less), Oakland is trying to avail themselves of Carson Palmer after hamstringing themselves in the next few drafts to trade for him, and Seattle essentially paid Matt Flynn starter money to ride the pine. Oh – and there’s a hot market for Flynn and that contract, now that Seahawks starter Russell Wilson blew it up during his rookie campaign. In this sense, a team that is grappling for a foothold while it tries to build some sort of decent reputation will have a tough time resisting the top-rated QB in this year’s draft – especially since pivots usually see their stock rise leading up to draft day. (Case in point: a QB has been taken in the top 2 in each draft since Matt Ryan was drafted third overall in 2008.) As laughable as the Jacksonville offense seems, they have some good skill players in place, with RB Maurice Jones-Drew coming back from surgery, and WRs Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III. In fact, without a good quarterback, one could argue that Blackmon will regress and MoJo will be wasted yet again. Shaka Khan is a hard-working entrepreneur. He knows he needs to tell his fan base something good soon. Taking a defensive tackle, even though it might be the most sensible idea, likely won’t do it.
After the first round, the Jags are best served taking the route most shitty teams should: Taking the most talented player available with each selection. That comes down to scouting, which will sorely test the new staff. Sorely.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
STAY TUNED FOR THE REST OF THE DAYS LEADING UP UNTIL THE 2013 NFL DRAFT. WE’LL TAKE A LOOK AT EACH TEAM, AS WE OPEN THEM UP IN THE ADVENT CALENDAR.