Draft shows faith in Mike Brewster

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the things that came out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' draft last weekend was that message that management does have faith in center Mike Brewster.

The Jaguars took an offensive lineman in the third round, but Miami's Brandon Linder was selected to become the team's right guard. General manager David Caldwell didn't draft a center until he took Virginia's Luke Bowanko in the sixth round.

Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley have said before that had confidence that Brewster, a third-year player from Ohio State, would be able to step into the starting spot vacated by the retired Brad Meester. The Jaguars' pursuit of Cleveland's Alex Mack wasn't because they changed their mind. They just took a shot at landing the league's best center and weren't worried if it didn't work out because of their confidence in Brewster.

"When we went after Alex Mack it wasn't anything negative against Brewster," Caldwell said. "It was more of the ability to add an elite player at that position and maybe move Brew to right guard. We actually have some good feeling about Brewster."

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Brewster, however, has yet to play a snap at center in his first two seasons. He has played in 26 games with 10 starts since making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but all have been at left or right guard.

In fact, only one of the Jaguars' other options at center has snapped in the NFL. Obviously Bowanko hasn't. Jacques McClendon snapped once against Tennessee when Meester moved to tight end so he could catch a pass in his Jaguars finale. McClendon, a fourth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2010, has played in just nine games, five of which came with the Jaguars last season.

The Jaguars signed Patrick Lewis from Cleveland's practice squad on Dec. 17, 2013. He has yet to play in an NFL game.

Brewster, who was a four-year starter and Rimington Award finalist at Ohio State, missed the final two games of the season after suffering a fractured left ankle. Bradley said Brewster has worked hard in rehab alongside left tackle Luke Joeckel, who missed 11 games after suffering a fractured right ankle, and he can't wait until the team puts on pads to see how much Brewster has progressed.

"Brewster came back and he looks really good," Bradley said. "He's bigger, he's stronger, his mindset and all those things, he's doing a great job now. [Left guard] Zane Beadles next to him and [that] has helped him out tremendously. He just has a different mindset, so we're excited about that."