The Jacksonville Jaguars either sent a message to its quarterbacks on the current roster or sent a smoke screen to the NFL this week.
Scouts and coaches went to West Virginia to see quarterback Geno Smith at his Pro Day workout.
Whether the athletic and mobile passer is on the team’s radar remains in question, but the fact there were Jaguars’ personnel there opens up a can of questions that need to be answered.
Do the Jaguars really think another rookie quarterback drafted in three seasons by this team will solve its passing game issues?
Has the team truly given up on finding a veteran quarterback to compete with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne for the starting position?
Will fans and the coaching staff finally see what Gabbert can do in a full season.
The questions may seem loaded, but they need to be addressed.
While there wasn’t a huge amount of unrest over the team making the visit to West Virginia, it allowed me to think how this could all play out should the team use the second overall selection in next month’s Draft to take Smith.
First, the team could draft him and cut Chad Henne, leaving it as a competition between two young, mobile quarterbacks who can move in the pocket. Gabbert is more athletic than people give him credit for.
Smith is a hybrid combination of Steve McNair, Randall Cunningham and Mark Brunell. He is not an elite quarterback -- yet.
Second, they could draft him and then trade him, say to Buffalo, who owns the eighth pick in the Draft. If Bjoern Werner of FSU falls to that slot and the team can draft Smith and pick up a player and more draft picks, this is to the Jaguars advantage.
A deal involving Buffalo and the Detroit Lions may also be in play, with Smith, Werner and Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner may work out.
Third, the team bypasses Smith altogether and takes an offensive lineman, either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher -- whoever is left after Kansas City makes its selection.
The NFL Draft is such a human and mental chess game. Al Davis was famous for playing it well when he was in his prime. The Jaguars have a new general manager in David Caldwell, who has been given the keys to the kingdom. This Draft becomes a proving ground to see what the neophyte can do. It also means a new start for this franchise.
My personal feeling is this team has other needs than quarterback right now. Smith may be a good player in the league, but he is not the answer to the Jaguars’ prayers. The team should concentrate on areas of concern.
Hitching the team’s ride to an unknown can be dangerous. Fans have already seen this happen. And the franchise is still working to make that chance work out for them.