KRM: Sammy Watkins taken at #3 by Jags.
Kanick Reader Mock presses on today with one of my timeline’s most committed handicappers at the podium. Here is ClevTA’s break down of the Jaguars’ possible pick at #3.
2014 Off Season Transactions.
It’s not that hard to figure out for whom Jags Head Coach Gus Bradley used to work based on their off-season moves. By bringing in defensive lineman Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, Bradley is helping to beef up his defensive line with two ex Seattle Seahawk players. Add in the addition of NT Ziggy Hood and re-signing of DE Jason Babin and the Jags all of a sudden have the looks of a formidable defensive front. Offensively, the team re-signed veteran QB Chad Henne and decided to sign Toby Gerhart to carry the load at RB and letting MJD walk. I’m not a fan of handing Gerhart the sole RB job but maybe they will draft a RB in the mid rounds or let Denard Robinson get some touches. Good luck with that.
On offense it’s really ugly. Henne at least can stabilize the QB position while a young QB is being groomed but in terms of skill positions it’s not pretty. As mentioned above Gerhart is your lead RB. He could be good for 4 yds/carry but has very little big play ability. The OL is ok and bringing in G Zane Beadles from Denver is a nice pickup to go with last year’s first round pick Luke Joeckel. At TE, Mercedes Lewis is just ok but good enough for one more year as a starter. The WR position needs tons of help, especially considering the unknown status of Justin Blackmon after his suspension last year for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Blackmon is eligible for reinstatement in 2014 but that is up in the air and even if he does come back there are no assurances he will stay clean. Cecil Shorts is a solid #2 WR but he can’t be relied upon to carry the load against defense’s top CB. Ace Sanders is an excellent return man and could be a good slot WR in the future. Outside of those two guys there really isn’t much else there. Assuming Blackmon is not coming back, a big play #1 WR is a big priority for the worst scoring offense last season.
On defense, as mentioned above, the DL is pretty well set and a solid overall group. They definitely needed the help as the Jags ranked 30th in the league in sack%. The LB core is decent at best with Paul Posluszny manning the middle but I am not sure if Geno Hayes and Russell Allen are the answers on the outside. OLB is definitely a big need. In the secondary, the Jags ranked 26th in yards/attempt against the pass last year. They definitely need help in the secondary and I’d imagine that Bradley will want to copy his former Seahawk secondary model of big, physical corners and playmaking safeties in the back-end of his defense.
1. Jadeveon Clowney DE S Carolina.
Awesome talent obviously, but does he have the desire to be the best? That’s a question that can’t be answered right now but if every prospect in this draft reached their potential Clowney would be the best player in this draft class.
2. Sammy Watkins WR Clemson.
Tremendous game breaker at the WR position, who ran a 4.43 40 at the combine, showed not only that he was a deep threat but also would go over the middle. He’s a tough guy and although he does not possess Calvin Johnson type size he plays bigger than his size. He recorded 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. I also liked that Watkins played well against good opponents. Against Georgia (6-127), South Carolina (7-93), Florida State (8-68) and Ohio State (16-227-2) Watkins tallied 37 receptions for 515 yards and 4 touchdowns.
3. Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville.
My personal favorite QB in this draft. Outside of Andrew Luck, I’ve never seen a college QB consistently call plays at the line and audible on his own. He completed a spectacular 71% of his throws with a supporting cast that rivaled Temple. He had no run game and very little in terms of WR speed. There is not a single Louisville skill position player ranked in Scouts Inc’s top 30 WR or RB. Let’s compare Bridgewater’s numbers to Bortles, who is considered the other top QB in this class. On 3rd downs, Bridgewater completed 68%, had 14 TDs and only 1 INT. On the other hand, while Bortles did a nice job on 1st and 2nd downs completing 70% and 75% respectively, his 3rd down rate dropped substantially to 54%. That’s a huge warning sign.
… most of the elite quarterbacks who have been drafted in the last couple of years, (Luck, RGIII, and Wilson) did not see this significant of a drop in their completion percentage on third down. Russell Wilson, in his lone season at Wisconsin, completed 71.7 percent on first down, 71.8 percent on second down, and 75.3 percent on third down.
You may not think that 3rd down completion percentage means all that much but check out the numbers on recent busts Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker in that regard. “In Gabbert’s final season at Missouri he completed 71 percent on first down, 68 percent on second down, and a dismal 44 percent on third down. In Locker’s final season at Washington, he completed 55 percent on first down, 62 percent on second down, and 51 percent on third down.”
Give me Teddy all day long over Bortles.
4. Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo.
Another physical freak who I saw firsthand dominate the Buckeyes in Columbus. He’s an explosive athlete who dominated the MAC where he posted 28.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles and an astonishing 74 TFL in his career.
Jaguars Selection at #3.
I’m going to go with Sammy Watkins here. Lots of good candidates and the Jags are filled with major needs so they really can’t go wrong with any of the four guys above but the huge playmaking hole on offense combined with the Blackmon uncertainty made me lean Watkins’ way. The Jags did a nice job adding to their front four in free agency so I don’t see Clowney going here. With Henne re-signing, this signals to me that adding a QB in round 2 like Garoppolo or Mettenberger is the way they will go as Henne can start for another year if need be.
And there you go. Browns are on the clock with Clowney, Manziel, Bridgewater, Mack, Matthews, Evans, Gilbert… etc., available. Zarathustra, you’re on the clock. Bring it home for us.
Now on the clock: Zarathustra for the Browns.