JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing in a slew of prospects for visits over the next several days. That includes six quarterbacks, the best offensive tackle, and the most explosive offensive player in the draft.
But it doesn’t mean the Jaguars have decided not to take a pass rusher with the No. 3 overall pick.
Fans understandably get excited when news of the players visiting leaks, especially when it’s players like Johnny Manziel and Sammy Watkins, but a team using one of its allotted 30 visits on a player doesn’t always signify genuine interest.
Often there is, but teams also can bring in players for visits because they got a bad vibe during an earlier meeting at the combine or a pro day and they want to see if that was an anomaly. Teams also may want to give a player another physical examination or administer another psychological test. They may have questions about a player’s past they want answered, especially if it’s something that was uncovered after a previous meeting.
Sometimes the visit is to see if the staff can get a feel for whether the player will be a fit in the locker room.
The Jaguars, for example, played host to Dion Jordan, Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, among others, last April. They took Joeckel with the No. 2 pick after Kansas City took Fisher. The Jaguars certainly needed pass rush help but passed for a left tackle around which the offensive line could be built.
According to various reports, including those by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, quarterbacks Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and Zach Mettenberger either have visited or will visit the Jaguars within days.
Some of those players are obviously in play for the Jaguars with the No. 3 pick. But others -- like Carr, Garoppolo, Mettenberger, Barr, and Van Noy -- are late first-rounders or second-day picks.
It’s the quarterbacks that are the most intriguing, because the Jaguars obviously need to find their future. Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles are regarded as the top three quarterbacks in the draft but Carr, Mettenberger, and Garoppolo are among the players in the second tier group.
Whether the Jaguars choose from the first or second group depends on whether they feel adding Watkins or a pass rusher -- like Mack or Jadeveon Clowney -- is a better approach than going quarterback with their first pick. It’s a decision that won’t be made until later this month.