May 13, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Jacksonville Jaguars

#5 Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Jacksonville Jaguars
Division: AFC South | Last Season Record: 4-12

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: They needed to draft a quarterback at some point, and while not expected to address the position in the first round, it should have at least been considered. Helping that quarterback out by giving him some more weapons and some protecting up front was pretty much a must. Adding a running back should have been a priority as well.

On defense, they should have looked to add a pass rusher at some point, though I didn't think it was as big of a need as most people though. The linebacker position isn't in very good shape. They needed to find at least one starter in this draft. Even with a lot of young, talented corners, it wouldn't have hurt to add another guy to get in there and compete.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

3. (3) Blake Bortles*, QB
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: Central Florida
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 229 lbs.

Round 2

7. (39) Marqise Lee*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Southern California
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 199 lbs.

29. (61) Allen Robinson*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Penn State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 207 lbs.

Round 3

29. (93) Brandon Linder, OG
Experience: Senior | School: Miami
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 311 lbs.

Round 4

14. (114) Aaron Colvin, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Oklahoma
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 177 lbs.

Round 5

4. (144) Telvin Smith, OLB
Experience: Senior | School: Florida State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 224 lbs.

19. (159) Chris Smith, DE
Experience: Senior | School: Arkansas
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 266 lbs.

Round 6

29. (205) Luke Bowanko, C
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Virginia
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 303 lbs.

Round 7

7. (222) Storm Johnson*, RB
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: Central Florida
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 218 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

Telvin Smith, OLB (Round 5, Pick 4)
Experience: Senior | School: Florida State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 224 lbs.

Analysis: This was a tough call between Storm Johnson and Telvin Smith. Lavonte David was a second round steal, but Telvin Smith somehow managed to last until the 5th round! He was a solid second rounder for me, and I expect him to become the starting WILL linebacker before season's end. He's a stud.

Most Questionable Pick:

Brandon Linder, OG (Round 3, Pick 29)
Experience: Senior | School: Miami
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 311 lbs.

Analysis: I like Brandon Linder, but not in the third round. I liked him as a late round pick. Expectations will be pretty high, and Jacksonville probably hopes he can give them a needed upgrade at guard.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Craig Loston, SS
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Louisiana State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 213 lbs.

Analysis: Loston was thought to have signed with the Cardinals, but he signed with the Jaguars instead. I had a 4th round grade on Loston. He should be a solid 3rd safety for them, and it wouldn't surprise me if he starts with Jonathan Cyprien at safety near the end of the season.

Other Free Agent Signings

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
Allen Hurns, WR, Miami
Damien Copeland, WR, Louisville
Jeff Budzien, K, Northwestern
DeAndre Coleman, DL, California
Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State
Josh Wells, OT, James Madison
Marcus Whitfield, OLB, Maryland
Reggie Jordan, FB, Missouri Western
Chad Zinchini, P, Tennessee Tech
Terrance Cobb, RB, Cumberland
Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
D.J. Tialavea, TE, Utah State
Tyler Shatley, OG, Clemson
Trevor Gillette, LS Rice
Ricky Havili-Heimuli, DT, Oregon

Draft Review:

Analysis: I was stunned when David Caldwell and company pulled the trigger on Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. I didn't like the pick at all, because I feel like Bortles was an early second round prospect, not to mention they passed on some elite talent. Make no mistake though, Bortles is a talented kid, and with their next two picks, the Jaguars added two of the top 7 receivers in this draft.

Marqise Lee is a first round talent who slid to the second round. He's good friends with Blake Bortles, and could make Jaguars fans forget about Justin Blackmon.

They also drafted Allen Robinson after trading back into the second round. Doubling up on talented receivers to help your quarterback? I'm all for it. Robinson and Lee will compliment each other very well.

Brandon Linder was a pretty big reach in the third round. He has tackle size, but plays like a guard. They'll be hoping that he becomes a solid starting guard.

Jacksonville may have had the best day 3 of any team in the draft. Aaron Colvin was a day 2 pick before tearing his ACL at the senior bowl. Though corner wasn't a big need, Colvin has starting potential, and may even be able to play safety.

Getting a second round talent in the 5th round is criminal, but that's just how the board fell for the Jaguars when they landed Telvin Smith, and they also got a potential day 2 pass rusher in Arkansas's Chris Smith.

Luke Bowanko is going to be a depth guy on the offensive line, but they would love it if he develops into a capable starting center.

With their final pick in the 7th round, the Jaguars got arguably the biggest steal in the entire draft. Storm Johnson is one of the most talented running backs in this class, and I'm willing to bet that Blake Bortles was very happy with this pick.

The Verdict: This is how you draft! Sure, I was down on the Blake Bortles pick, but David Caldwell got his guy, a potential franchise quarterback, and did a great job surrounding him with weapons, and got excellent value as well. They also landed several second and third round talents on the third day of the draft. David Caldwell nailed this draft.

Overall Grade: A