Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has been very transparent and upfront about the Jaguars' new draft strategy as they head towards the 2013 NFL draft in April. The Jaguars will draft for need at the top of the draft and possibly pick the "best available player" in the latter rounds of the event.
Under normal circumstances, there's a consensus top pick in the draft. The first team in the drafting order normally picks that player, leaving mock draft enthusiasts 31 teams to actually anticipate. That's not the case this season. For the first time in recent memory, there is no runaway top quarterback prospect for the top team, the Chiefs in this year's draft, to select.
With that in mind, it's difficult to determine what direction the Jaguars will go in the draft. If Geno Smith isn't picked first overall, it might be safe to assume the Jaguars would immediately take him off the board in an attempt to provide an answer to their quarterback problems.
On the other hand, if the Jaguars go in a different direction, or Geno Smith isn't available, will they go for a defensive end or an offensive lineman? That all depends on your perspective.
If you're of the opinion that the Jaguars need to sure-up their offensive line, Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel would likely be your pick for the Jaguars. As the best OT coming into the draft, he would provide a huge upgrade at right tackle. Alongside Eugene Monroe at left tackle, the Jaguars would have one of the best OT tandems in the league today.
If you're of the opinion that the Jaguars need to generate a pass rush, something they've tried and failed to do repeatedly under Gene Smith's control, the Jaguars would likely be picking Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore or Florida State DE Bjoern Werner, both options that could put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
With need drafting, it's all a matter of need combined with value. If top picks are graded very similar, the Jaguars will take a guy at a position of need over another guy that could be called the "best available player." If Geno Smith is available and the Jaguars haven't addressed their quarterback situation, it's hard to imagine Jacksonville picking anyone but Smith. On the other hand, if Smith is gone or the Jaguars have addressed their quarterback position in free agency, it's anyone's guess what position they'll be going for, but my gut instinct is that the team could look to improve it's offensive line.