If Jacksonville Jaguars draft luncheon on Friday were part of a political statement, the spin-doctors might be thinking head coach Doug Marrone was campaigning for a new quarterback.
“I know when you don’t have one, you have to get one,” Marrone told the media, which elicited a chuckle from executive vice President Tom Coughlin.
While many will perceive the comment to be part of the organization tipping its hand. Nevertheless, it is more about the fact that this team needs stability on offense. That starts with the quarterback, and in this case with Blake Bortles, who has to play better this upcoming season
So much has been made of the team’s coaching change and Doug Marrone took over on a full-time basis. Who will play quarterback in 2017 is about as over analyzed a question in this city as is whether Jacksonville takes a running back in the first round of the draft.
Both are on a wait and see basis.
In many cases, teams set off smokescreens to keep their opponents off guard when it comes to the selection process. The Jaguars have been very transparent in the fact they want better quarterback play. With Bortles going into the last year of his rookie deal, it has become apparent that this is a make or breaks season. There is still no word if Jacksonville will pick up his fifth-year option.
In fact, this year’s quarterback class is considered overrated. With the possible selection of four or five passers in the first round, there is a dilemma at EverBank Field. There is a belief that the 2018 quarterback class is much better, and could offer a better solution behind center.
The notion all along has been that the Jaguars will choose between one of three players. Those are Jonathan Allen of Alabama, Leonard Fournette of LSU, or Solomon Thomas of Stanford. Anything else certainly would be a shock, and deemed a “reach”. There has been the talk of Jacksonville taking a long hard look at Deshaun Watson of Clemson. However, by doing so the team sends a message to their incumbent starter.
Win or else.
Also, the fan base is restless and in need of something positive to bring the excitement out. The drafting of a quarterback would mean they would throw their entire support towards the rookie. Hence, leaving Bortles fishing for support. I do not see a rookie starting the first game of the season, but stranger things have happened.
The subtle hints by Doug Marrone, Tom Coughlin, and general manager David Caldwell are more than this organization has talked about since Caldwell came over from Atlanta four years ago. Moreover, because there seems to be a new chain of command in the organization, this newfound communication with the media can only mean that Jacksonville is in a “win now” mode.
Many are expecting the Jaguars to take a quarterback at some point in this draft. Where they pull the trigger and who they take remains to be seen. However, if one is taken in the first three rounds this coming week, figure them be thrown right into the mix with the potential of starting from day one in 2017.