The Jacksonville Jaguars have 12 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, second-most in the league. General Manager Dave Caldwell has done an adequate job drafting since his hiring in 2013. Specifically, Caldwell has done a poor job drafting first-round talent but has done a better job of finding value in later rounds, specifically at wide receiver.
Caldwell began the 2020 season in a near-impossible situation. Part of the reason he still holds his current job is because Khan is giving him a chance to build around Minshew and determine if Jacksonville’s darling quarterback can continue to bring hope, and more importantly, wins, to the city. But nearly every general manager’s personal goal is to assemble a win-now roster in order to protect job security, and that’s especially true for Caldwell in what could be his last season in Jacksonville.
After trading $88 million dollar man Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears and forgoing the free agency quarterback carousel this offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars are dedicated to Gardner Minshew in 2020. In order to truly be all in on Minshew, they must prioritize offense in the NFL Draft to put him in the best position to succeed.
Last season, Minshew was among the least efficient quarterbacks in the NFL- but when considering context, he played well for a sixth-round rookie with a below-average group of wide receivers, offensive line, and coaching staff. Minshew simply did not have a beneficial receiving corps last season. The Jaguars must address the receiver position (certainly wide receiver, but potentially tight end or running back as well) at some point in the draft, preferably early, to give Minshew more reliable options.
It would be wise for Jacksonville to invest in offensive players early in Thursday’s draft so that Minshew has a better supporting cast around him and the organization can fairly evaluate whether or not Minshew is a true franchise quarterback. If Minshew excels with better teammates, it’s an obvious win for the franchise, and if he disappoints then at least Jacksonville has closure and will have a decent environment ready for a new quarterback in 2021.
For more detailed analysis and specific statistics, you can read the three-part series of in-depth articles here. Follow Gus on Twitter @gus_logue.