The Jaguars are in the unenviable position of not having a quarterback on their roster to build around. They are one of only a handful of teams in the NFL that don’t either have a franchise QB or a QB of the future currently on their roster. The Blake Bortles experiment has seemingly come to an end and Cody Kessler is clearly not the answer. Tanner Lee, the Jaguars sixth round pick, didn’t even come close to pushing for a spot on the active roster this year. The team did recently add the ever intriguing QB Alex McGough to the fold earlier in the week via a futures contract. He was a 2018 7th round pick by the Seahawks, but seems to offer a fair amount of upside.
Given the fact that an unproven seventh round pick is the most exciting asset in the Jaguars current QB room, there is obviously quite a bit of work to be done in the coming days and months.
The biggest question surrounding the Jaguars, now that the offensive coordinator position has been filled by passing game guru John DeFilippo, is how the front office should go about fixing their QB problem.
Many, including myself, believe that Tom Coughlin and company will elect to go after a veteran QB. The organization seems to think with decent QB play, they could easily find themselves back in the playoff mix in 2019. While I don’t advocate for spending big money on a veteran free agent, I also wouldn't argue the fact that with a veteran signal caller the Jaguars could make a playoff run. So, I’m okay with acquiring a veteran QB.
The market isn’t likely to be completely barren. Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor, and Josh McCown are all set to be free agents. The Dolphins are also believed to be on the verge of cutting the chord with Ryan Tannehill. I don’t think any of those names will break the bank. They would be low risk investments. All four have had some level of success in the NFL and with DeFilippo running the offense I could see any of them having a decent to above average season in Jacksonville next year. In the case of McCown, there’s actually precedent for him playing well in a John DeFilippo coached offense. He was the Browns starting QB in 2015 when DeFilippo was the offensive coordinator. McCown was on his way to a career year before an injury derailed his season.
If the Jaguars want to make a bigger splash, and dump major assets into their veteran QB acquisition, they could go after Joe Flacco or Nick Foles via trade. I would strongly urge the front office not to do so. Adding a veteran that will likely cost draft/player capital would not be advantageous for a roster that needs as much help as it can possibly get on the offensive side of the ball.
Like I said before, I do believe that the Jaguars can compete for a playoff spot with a veteran QB slinging the rock. But I implore the Jaguars front office not to stop there. This team needs to draft a young QB in 2019. The Jaguars franchise, as a whole, has committed QB malpractice for far too long. They’ve selected just three QBs in the first round in team history. And people wonder why the Jaguars offense seems to struggle so much. Adding a veteran QB is a band-aid, not a long term solution. It could help save some jobs next year to be sure. But simply adding a vet and not addressing the long term stability of the position would be a major mistake that could set the Jaguars offense back for years to come.
There are a plethora of roads that the Jaguars can take to acquire a young QB via this year’s draft. If they want to go all in on one of the two QBs at the top of the class they could trade up and get their guy, whether that be Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray. If they stay put at seven it’s possible that one of the two aforementioned players will be available. If they want to trade back or wait until the second round they’ll have guys like Daniel Jones, Drew Lock, and Will Grier to select from. If they feel comfortable beyond that there are names like Gardner Minshew, Ryan Findley, or Jarrett Stidham.
It’s time for the Jaguars to swing on a QB on the first two days of the draft. In earnest, the Jaguars need to make finding a young QB their top priority, which means they should be willing to dp whatever they can to add Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins, both of whom project to be long term NFL starters. But, at the very least, the Jaguars need to add one of the QBs who they believe has the potential to become a starter in this draft class.
There’s no excuse not to.
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