The Other 31: Jaguars add marquee offensive tackle, but QB situation remains unsettled

June 5, 2013

Luke Joeckel at the NFL scouting combine (Dave Martin/The Associated Press)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Last season’s record: 2-14

Coaching change: Fired Mike Mularkey, hired Gus Bradley

Key players released: T Guy Whimper, S Dawan Landry, CB Aaron Ross, WR Laurent Robinson, DT C.J. Mosley, FB Montell Owens, CB Antwaun Molden

Key free agents lost: DT Terrance Knighton, CB Derek Cox, FB Greg Jones, DE George Selvie, RB Rashad Jennings, G Eben Britton

Key free agents re-signed: C Brad Meester

Key free agents added: RB Justin Forsett, DT Roy Miller, CB Alan Ball, DT Sen’Derrick Marks, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, CB Marcus Trufant, LB Geno Hayes

Draft:

Rd. 1 (No. 2 overall)… Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M

2 (33)… Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

3 (64)… Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut

4 (101)… Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina

5 (135)… Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan

6 (169)… Josh Evans, S, Florida

7 (208)… Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State

7 (210)… Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State

Analysis: Few would fault what the Jaguars did with the second overall selection in the NFL draft. With no franchise quarterbacks to be found, the Jaguars took Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel after the Kansas City Chiefs had chosen fellow offensive tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan with the top choice. Many observers had regarded Joeckel as the likely top pick in the days leading up to the draft, so the Jaguars emerged with a franchise-cornerstone player at a premium position. They also did well in the second round to add a defensive playmaker by choosing Florida International safety Johnathan Cyprien.

That puts the team headed in the right direction. But it’s just a start, and there is quite a ways left to go.

The Jaguars went against the trend of hiring offensive-minded head coaches when they went with Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as their choice to replace the ousted Mike Mularkey. Bradley is well regarded around the league and was widely thought to be ready for a head coaching chance. But he inherits a team continuing to search for a centerpiece quarterback and left still hoping that Blaine Gabbert will develop into that.

The Jaguars have opted against signing Tim Tebow despite the speculation that they would do so once the former University of Florida quarterback became available. So they are left with either Gabbert or Chad Henne at quarterback, while rookies Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders could help at receiver.

There’s no reason to believe that the Jaguars’ quarterback issue is resolved or the team is close to contender status. But a few pieces to the puzzle seemingly have been added this offseason. And if a productive quarterback emerges or is added within a year or two, the Jaguars perhaps could begin to resemble a winner.

Why Redskins fans should care: The Redskins, while still in need of a franchise quarterback, had a chance to draft Gabbert in 2011. Instead, they traded down and took linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, then traded into position a year later to choose Robert Griffin III.

Conversation starter: Should the Jaguars have signed Tim Tebow?

Background: Schedule | Depth chart | Draft | Team page | Previous Other 31 reviews

Related: RB Maurice Jones-Drew keeping coach, GM in loop regarding alleged fight

More coverage:

Jarvis Jenkins aims to be more disruptive in second season after ACL injury

 Cornerback E.J. Biggers feels right at home with Redskins

D.C. Sports Bog: Fullback Eric Kettani promoted to U.S. Navy lieutenant

The Early Lead: Joe Gibbs lands at No. 9 on list of NFL’s best coaches

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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