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Jacksonville Jaguars Team Needs

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Jacksonville Jaguars Team Needs
By: Staff

The Jaguars went 12-4 in the 2005-2006 season, and look to improve upon it next year, and possibly challenge the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South title. In order to do that, the Jaguars need to work on some key areas of need.

Tight End
A lot of people ask the question about whether or not Matt Jones will be a tight end or not, and the answer most likely is, no. Coach Jack Del Rio, and the team's management like him as a wide reciever, and his progression hes had so far. Although Kyle Brady is quite possibly the best blocking tight end in the NFL, he leaves much to be desired catching the ball. Brady may end up retiring anyway, and with George Wrighster and Brian Jones next up on the depth chart, the Jaguars need to look for a tight end. Three tight ends come to mind. Marcedes Lewis (UCLA), Vernon Davis (Maryland), and Leonard Pope (Georgia). All will be in the NFL Draft come April, and expect the Jaguars to draft one of these new athletic-type tight ends. A tight end just adds a new aspect to the Carl Smith offense, and Byron Leftwich would love another target to throw to. The Jaguars could take their 4th consecutive offensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Although this need could possibly be addressed in free agency, the Jaguars aren't known for signing big name free agents, and giving out huge contracts through free agency. Rashean Mathis is an emerging NFL star who was brilliant for the Jaguars in 05-06 and continues to get better. He's turning into one of the league's elite, while the other side of the secondary doesn't have much to be proud of. Unless the Jaguars trade up, they most likely won't get a shot at Jimmy Williams from Virginia Tech. Tye Hill from Clemson and Alan Zemaitis from Penn State will most likely be available for the Jaguars pick. If the Jaguars do not address the position in free agency or the first round, solid players like Cedric Griffin (Texas) and Jason Allen (Tennessee) could be available in the second round. A sleeper here, and possibly risky pick, is early entry, Devin Hester (Miami FL.) who could even be available in the third round.

Running Back
Weren't the Jaguars 11th in rushing offense this year? Yes. Don't they still have Fred Taylor? Yes. Then whats the problem? Well, Fred Taylor can't stay healthy and hes not getting any younger. He'll be with the Jaguars next year, but who knows how big his role will be. LaBrandon Toefield played well when he was asked to step in this year, and rookie Alvin Pearman did his share as well. However, none of those guys are franchise running backs. Now that Fred's time is coming to an end, who do the Jaguars go to? The draft perhaps? The only thing stopping the Jaguars from taking a running back in the first round, is Greg Jones. He played great in Taylor's absense this year, but whether or not hes a franchise back has yet to be determined, and Jones also impressed the coaching staff as the starting fullback this year. The Jaguars will probably not take Laurence Maroney (Minnesota), even though he could easily be around when they pick. Reggie Bush (USC) or DeAngelo Williams (Memphis) would be the only two running backs the Jaguars would take in the first round, and the likelihood of either is not good. However, the Jaguars could take a running back in rounds 3-7.

Mike Peterson had an amazing year, and is an elite linebacker. Daryl Smith out of Georgia Tech played very well in his second year. The depth at linebacker is good too. However, noone in that depth is good enough to start. Akin Ayodele played well, and came up with big plays, but it's been known that the coaching staff aren't his biggest fans. He's also a free agent, and has expressed interest in returning to Jacksonville, but do the Jaguars want him back? Jaime Winborn, Greg Favor, and Pat Thomas all could be next in line for the job if Ayodele exits, but are they really the right players to fill the void? I highly doubt the Jaguars take a linebacker in the first round, or maybe even on the first day, but it is definatley something the team is looking into. They need a playmaker at the other outside spot, and if the Jaguars feel they can get that guy in free agency or the draft, they just might bite.

This is not a very big area of concern, but it could be brought up. Maurice Williams and Khalif Barnes look like they have the tackle spots wrapped up for some years to come, as does Brad Meester at center. Chris Naoele and Vince Manuwai struggled a bit this year, but at times it seemed it was because the Jaguars had no left tackle. Khalif Barnes came in and did the job, and Manuwai and Naoele seemed to be themselves again. The Jaguars most likely will stay with them, as they are solid, and reliable veterans. However, with a good crop of offensive lineman declaring this year, the Jaguars could look for a future replacement for one of the two. Byron Leftwich isn't afraid to take a hit, but he does need protection to be effective. The Jaguars could be drafting with the Best Player Available mindset, and if a guard is that player, the Jaguars could possibly look to draft them. The odds, however, point towards no.

Discuss the Jaguars team needs in our Jacksonville Jaguars Forum.

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