There are 17 days remaining until the NFL Draft and the Jacksonville Jaguars are left with a decision that will impact the franchise for the next decade.
Make that three decisions and a lot of praying to the Football Gods.
While the team has had prospects come in and out of EverBank Field the past week, the choices the team has to make are as easy as 1-2-3.
There should only be three players on this team’s radar. Anyone else will be a reason for conjecture, concern and criticism.
This franchise has had enough of that the past nine seasons under head coaches Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey.
A fresh start with new eyes overseeing this club, a new spirit of enthusiasm and a chance to correct many wrongs will go a long way toward showing the fans here in town this is a team on the move, no matter how low that movement might be.
While the Jaguars are in desperate need to fill a secondary, the thought of taking Alabama’s Dee Milliner with the second overall pick is ludicrous and should not be entertained unless they trade down to the fifth slot with Detroit.
I still see that as an option, but only if the right game pieces are in place. The NFL Draft and free agency is like a high-priced chess match that should be played with a slow hand like poker without ever showing your game face.
The Jaguars must make a decision between three players and three players only - Whoever is left between Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher at tackle, defensive end Dion Jordan and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
Anyone else who fits this puzzle piece like a Ziggy Ansah of BYU makes me question what Kool Aid is being served downtown. Ansah has been pegged to the Jaguars by several draft websites and of course, Mel Kiper (which automatically makes it a bad move). I throw those ideas out the window and lower the choices to make things direct and more succinct.
This is a team with major needs on the offensive and defensive lines. Geno Smith cannot help them right now. Milliner can, but won’t be taken. Someone like Tyrann Mathieu or Matt Elam could be an option in the second round.
In an ideal world, Bjoern Werner would have had a better Pro Day and he would be the second overall selection, hands down. Nothing is ideal in football or Tim Tebow would be in Jacksonville behind center looking like Randall Cunningham.
If I were the one running the Jaguars' draft, I would do the following to endure there was growth with this team over the next few years...
Trade out of the second overall slot with Detroit, picking up another second round pick. The Lions want and need Milliner, let’s see of they will swap first round selections and offer up a second round pick to do it.
Milliner goes second overall to the Lions, the Raiders take Floyd from Florida as predicted at the third slot. Philadelphia takes a swing at Eric Fisher (assuming he is the one left between he and Joeckel, who Kansas City scoops up with the first overall selection).
The Jaguars are sitting at the fifth slot and can still have Jordan or Oregon and concentrate on getting more help in the second round. At the 33rd selection, they can take Elam of Florida and at the 37th slot from Detroit, they can swing at Menelik Watson, Tackle of FSU or someone like Terron Armstead, Tackle from Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
The one thing Tom Coughlin did in his time as both general manager and head coach with the Jaguars was use his draft picks to his advantage. We saw this with the first ever draft for this team in 1995. New general manager David Caldwell needs to take the same approach and use his picks to his advantage. In doing so, he will give this team something it has not had in awhile - options.
Options are things that make teams like Jacksonville mend quickly and challenge for playoff positions.