Jaguars Around the Web


Posted Feb 8, 2012
Charlie Bernstein


As free agency and the draft approaches, we take a look at who the Jaguars might go after and how free agency will affect their draft. We also look at MJD's confidence in Blaine Gabbert and Eben Britton on the comeback trail.

Look for Gabbert to Improve



The Jaguars knew there would be some bumps and bruises when they made the decision to start rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert last season. After 14 starts, Gabbert hardly improved and seemed to lose confidence as the season went on. Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew believes that Gabbert will be a different player in his sophomore campaign, according to this Pro Football Weekly story.

Our take: Jones-Drew flourished last season despite the Jaguars inept passing game and if they can be a little more balanced next season life should be easier on the Pro Bowl runner.

Do we believe Jones-Drew? I'm not going to say no because Gabbert simply has no way to go but up. Will he be the franchise quarterback that the team thought they drafted? It's too soon to say but the early returns don't look that way.


Free Agency May Determine the Jaguars Draft



The Jaguars have always claimed to be a "BAP" drafting team (Best Available Player). The results have shown otherwise as each pick, especially early on attempted to address a major team need. With numerous needs on both sides of the ball, every selection aside from running back would likely fill a need of some sort.

Free agency may determine where the Jaguars go with their first-round pick as they have considerable funds to spend with plenty of athletes available and needs to fill. If Jacksonville makes a run at a big time defensive end such as Mario Williams or Cliff Avril, the likelihood of them selecting a Quentin Coples in the first round is lessened considerably.

The same reasoning applies with the wide receiver position, as stars such as Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson and Steve Johnson will all hit the market. If Jacksonville were to secure one of those players it's less likely that a Justin Blackmon or Kendall Wright may be their first round selection.

Yardbarker.com has a few potential athletes that the team has scouted who could be the Jaguars selection with the seventh-overall pick.

Our take: The Jaguars have needs all over the place and it's doubtful that they'll take a rookie wide receiver in the Top 10. There is better bang for the buck at cornerback and on the defensive line.

Britton Confident He'll Come Back



When the Jaguars selected Eben Britton in the second round of the 2009 draft, they envisioned a scenario where he and first-round pick Eugene Monroe would be the bookend tackles for the next decade. Although Monroe has been durable, he is far from elite at his position and Britton has been neither durable nor good, as he has missed 21 of the team's last 32 games.

Britton is confident that he'll be back next season and better than ever, according to this Jaguars.com article.

Our take: Britton simply can not be counted on at this point in his career as he's been injury prone and not particularly good. Britton was beat out by Guy Whimper last season when he was healthy and there's no reason to believe he will ever become the player that the Jags over-drafted.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie


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