JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The assumption is that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be more defense-heavy in the upcoming draft after addressing the offense in the 2014 draft.
However, general manager David Caldwell says that isn't necessarily the case. Though it's highly unlikely he'll take anyone other than a defensive end/pass-rusher with the No. 3 pick he said he won't bypass an available offensive player if he feels it's a good value.
"When you're 3-13 you still have to address every position on the draft board for the most part," said Caldwell, who used six of his nine picks in 2014 on offensive players. "We're young in this tenure here and we're a young team, so we're not in our window to say, 'Hey, we're going to be a perennial playoff team for the next six to eight years.' We're still looking for dynamic players and if somebody falls in the second round and it happens to be a skill position, a receiver or running back, we're not going to be afraid to take one of those guys knowing that we're still a ways away to be where we want to be."
It would be a surprise, though, if the Jaguars' first pick wasn't Leonard Williams, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, or Dante Fowler Jr. Williams is a big end who can play inside while the other three are edge rushers and finding a young pass-rusher is one of the team's top priorities. The Jaguars have a huge need at right tackle but none of the offensive tackles are a fit that high. The Jaguars are planning on signing a veteran receiver in free agency so taking a receiver at No. 3 wouldn't make sense, either.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said it would be hard to make an argument for the Jaguars to draft any position but pass-rusher in the first round.
"I think if Leonard Williams was there you'd have to obviously look at that," McShay said on a conference call this afternoon. "I know that they have locked up Roy [Miller] and Sen'Derrick Marks at defensive tackle. They need a young pass-rusher and that's kind of what the strength of this group is.
"The tough part for me is that there's just not an offensive tackle there that fits the bill and when you need a pass-rusher as badly as they do I think that you've got an opportunity to get the best one, the best edge rusher in a good class. It would be tough to pass up on unless you got a deal to move [in a trade]."
After the first round, though, the Jaguars are open to anything. Their approach will depend on what they accomplish in free agency, but even if the Jaguars added a right tackle in free agency Caldwell's comments indicate they still could take one in the second or third round if they feel there's too much value to pass.