This offseason has had major implications in what we could be doing in next years National Football League Draft. If we were talking two weeks ago, the clear cut need would have been any one of the three linebacking positions and at a close second would have been the safety position. Thanks to some wheeling and dealing of both Gene and Wayne in the Free Agent Market, we no longer have a need in any of those seven areas. Dwan Landry, has locked down the Strong Safety position, while Chris Prosiniski has stolen the Free Safety position already in Training Camp.
There are really only three major areas of weakness on the team which need to be addressed early and often in the upcoming draft. The first and most important is a true head and shoulders above the rest Number One Wide receiver. Lets be real for a moment. Mike Thomas is a very nice Number Two and Jason Hill isn’t the savior all other Jaguars fans I have run into make him out to be. He was waived for a reason from San Francisco and again, is a nice Number two, but cannot be THE guy. We need a large bodied, strong, quick Wideout who is able to take the load off of Thomas and be a thousand plus yard target. A player such as Alshon Jeffery, Justin Blackmon, or Jeff Fuller.
Next up is what to do with the ever declining Rashean Mathis and the Number One or Two Corner position. Yes, we did draft Rod Issac and also picked up Drew Coleman in Free Agency this year, however both are solid Nickel/Dime options but I don’t see anything more than this. In a deep Corner class, at least at this present time, it may not be a first round need such as a Number One Wideout but it will need to be addressed as Mathis is also in the last year of his contract. There are a few options worth the pick in the second, such as a Chase Minnifield (Virginia), Donnie Fletcher (Boston College), even someone such as Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina) or Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska) can slip, as evident in the fall of a former top-10 pick in Prince Amukamara last year.
Our last major need is a true pass rushing Defensive End. Yes, we have a slew of raw talent on the line so far, but nothing special. Behind Kampman who is coming off of his second knee surgery which leaves the likes of Mincey, Lane, and Hart to cover, and that makes me nervous, and we also saw that play out last year to failing grades. While I have high hopes for Marc Schiechl, we still need others around him. A player such as Andre Branch (Clemson), Cam Johnson (Virginia)m or Julian Miller (West Virginia).
Lastly we need some depth on the Offensive Line. Whether that comes in the way of a Center or Guard, we need someone to come in and help. As it stands now, we have the potential to be brining in an Undrafted or Two Free Agents coming in and making the active roster. Even with the signing of Jason Spitz, who is capable of either position (presumably the air apparent to Brad Meester) still leaves a spot open. This is where Gene will work his magic and find us another small school player with great potential (see William Rackley last year).
With this plan, in three years, Gene would have come in and flipped the entire roster around for the better. We have cut the fluff off the team and brought in playmakers and solid contributors in both Free Agency and more importantly the Draft. And I expect that after the 2012 Draft, we have completed the rebuilding process and have moved in as the front runners for the division. As Indianapolis is on the decline we will only get better with another year of experience for our young players, we will hit our stride and contend for the division and in time, the title.