Got questions about the Jacksonville Jaguars? I'll try to answer a representative selection of them every Saturday. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco.
I'd be stunned if the Denver Broncos
didn't lock up Demaryius Thomas
to a long-term deal or at the very worst franchise him. There's probably not enough room for them to keep Julius Thomas around so he'd be the more likely target. However, he will be courted by a lot of other teams as well so it's going to be tough to land him if they choose to pursue him.
Pass-rusher, but only slightly ahead of linebacker. The Jaguars have done a solid job rushing the passer this season (28 sacks) but the team needs an elite rusher and the upcoming draft appears to be loaded with good ones (provided some underclassmen come out). The Jaguars have to upgrade at linebacker, too, especially in terms of speed. The team needs more big plays out of that spot, too.
First, let's put two qualifiers on this answer. Let's assume the Jaguars also are targeting a big-time pass-rusher in the draft and let's also assume that all the underclassmen declare. In that case, I'd put Nebraska's Randy Gregory
atop the list followed by Missouri's Shane Ray
. Where the Jaguars are picking will impact the answer, too, but right now that's my best guess.
@ESPNdirocco: Justin Blackmon
must apply for re-instatement first, go through that process, then serve out any additional suspension that he's given. It won't be this year.
That's something they're hoping to determine over the final six games. Nobody is sure how Denard Robinson
will handle the increased workload and physical pounding that comes with being a team's feature back. It's a determination they will have to make after the season. The staff is cautiously optimistic, though.
Probably not wide receiver, but I can see the Jaguars taking a look at running back late in the draft the same way they did this year. They could look at a different style of back, too, like a Dri Archer
-type. I absolutely would re-sign Cecil Shorts provided it was a reasonable contract. I wouldn't overpay for him. Shorts still has to prove he can stay healthy and finishing out the rest of the season would help with that. I also wouldn't cut Toby Gerhart
. He's not costing that much ($2.5 million base salary/$3 million against the cap in 2015) and, like I said in the previous answer, nobody's sure if Denard Robinson can be a feature back for an entire season. Teams need multiple backs and a healthy Gerhart is a solid option.