Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/24/13
There is 32 days until the NFL Draft and fans in North Florida are still waiting for the Jacksonville Jaguars to impress with offseason moves.The team cannot hang its hat on the signings of second-line free agents and a re-signing of starting center Brad Meester.Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has repeatedly stated the team would not be a major player in the free agent market and he stuck by his word. While there are free agents who could impact this team still on the market (Eric Winston, Brent Grimes, maybe Brian Urlacher), there is a need to stay the course and see what this team can do with its blueprint for success.Like I stated in another article, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will this franchise.I personally believe in the philosophy of Caldwell, head coach Gus Bradley and team owner Shad Khan. But as a fan, I am worried about the snail’s pace the team is taking to build a winner. I am just like everyone else in wanting to see a winner now, not in three seasons.If the Jaguars remain on this path, then the upcoming draft will prove to be huge for this franchise where there is a new culture and some excitement about what is taking place. We all may not see it happening, but culture and change takes time to buy into and for the players under contract - they too will need to be patient.The draft presents some interesting options for a team with the second overall selection and the first selection in the second round. The Jaguars’ greatest needs are on the offensive and defensive lines and the secondary. Here are five players this team must look at to add as starters or depth to give this team a chance to win early and possibly often.Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle... I believe Fisher has passed census first pick Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. I also said before, I thought Fisher would be the best tackle in the NFL in five years. The question is whether Fisher can play the right side, opposite Eugene Monroe, or does Monroe make the transition over to the other side.Matt Elam, Defensive Back... He is rated as the best strong safety in this draft. The Jaguars gutted its secondary with the release of Dawan Landry, Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross. Can Elam, who was a terror at Florida, transition to the pros? The Jaguars tried this a few years ago when they drafted Reggie Nelson, a fellow Gator, and the experiment failed.Dion Jordan, Defensive End/Linebacker... His named is moving up the boards as a player who Gus Bradley can use as a “LEO” linebacker/pass rusher in his defensive scheme. Oregon, where Jordan played, used him in various schemes to put pressure on the passer. Jordan is fast and agile, something this team needs in every position on defense.EJ Manuel, Quarterback... Let’s make it clear that I believe the Jaguars still have to play Blaine Gabbert next season. But Manuel presents some interesting opportunities for this team. Manuel did not have a stellar senior season at Florida State, but has proven to be a great find in all-star events and personal workouts. I believe he could be better than Geno Smith (take out the FSU bias here). Manuel will also get a long look at other teams in the second round like Buffalo, Arizona, Dallas and others.
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