Commentary

Jags must make some moves to catch Indy

Scouts Inc. puts theJaguars on the clock, breaking down their offseason moves and looking at what questions still need answers.

Originally Published: March 20, 2008
By Ken Moll | Scouts Inc.

As the NFL draft approaches, "SportsCenter" is putting every NFL team with a first-round pick "On the Clock," and Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have reached the playoffs two of the past three years, but they still play second fiddle to the Indianapolis Colts in their division. The Jags are just 1-4 in their last five games against Peyton Manning and Co. They need to improve not only their defense, but also find a way to score more points in order to take the next step in the tough AFC South. Losing defensive coordinator Mike Smith to the Falcons might hurt that side of the ball. Although the huge gamble to make David Garrard the starting quarterback worked out well for head coach Jack Del Rio, more weapons need to be added to improve the Jaguars' offense. They have one of the league's best ground attacks, but now need to bring in some playmakers to help Garrard in the passing game.

Key Additions

Knowing they needed help on the outside, Jacksonville added wide receivers Troy Williamson and Jerry Porter. Although Williamson never put up big numbers in Minnesota, he has great vertical speed and can stretch deep zones. He was hindered by a marginal quarterback situation win Minnesota, but the Jags believe offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and Garrard will be able to get the most out of Williamson's talent.

The re-signings of safety Gerald Sensabaugh and veteran running back Greg Jones were necessary, and acquiring defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and corner Drayton Florence were big moves. Florence is an established, productive player who provides excellent depth and will likely push for a starting position. Kennedy has been a huge underachiever. He has the size and raw athletic ability to develop, but he has never progressed during his tenure in the league.

Mock Draft: Jaguars
The Pick (No. 26 overall):
DE Calais Campbell, Miami
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Campbell
Todd McShay: The Jaguars need help along the defensive front and Campbell is the best available defensive lineman in this scenario.
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Key Losses

The Jaguars lost several key players from last year's team. They traded stout defensive tackle Marcus Stroud to Buffalo and lost safety Sammy Knight, defensive end Bobby McCray, wide receiver Ernest Wilford and backup running back LaBrandon Toefield in free agency. All were solid contributors. Veteran offensive guard Chris Naeole was released and the Jags also will likely lose huge defensive tackle Grady Jackson and backup QB Quinn Gray, although Gray has already been replaced by fourth-year quarterback Cleo Lemon.

Remaining Questions

How will the consistent Jacksonville defense respond after losing its coordinator to Atlanta? Gregg Williams takes over, and his schemes can be more complex. He tends to use more blitz packages with a variety of combination coverages that have a high risk/reward philosophy. Another question: How will Lemon perform if Garrard goes down? When Garrard missed time in 2007, Gray threw 10 touchdowns, only five interceptions and kept the Jaguars rolling. Will the middle of the perennially stout defense continue to perform well without Stroud and Jackson? The Jags will need to fill holes effectively in the 2008 draft. They lost the productive McCray and Reggie Hayward is struggling to bounce back from an injury. Will there be a defensive end who Del Rio will go after early in the draft or will he continue to upgrade his offense? Jacksonville has plenty of talent, but if it intends on overtaking the Colts, it still has some areas to improve.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

Ken Moll

Scouts Inc.
Ken Moll spent 13 years scouting in the NFL, six with the Cleveland Browns, five with the Jacksonville Jaguars and two with the National Football Scouting combine. Before that, he spent 15 years as a collegiate assistant, nine at Richmond and six at Louisville, his alma mater.