As we’ve said before, now that we’re close to the start of the 2014 NFL Draft, rumors are going to start running wild. The latest on Wednesday morning suggests that the Jacksonville Jaguars could surprise everyone on Thursday and select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the third overall pick.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle claims that “word’s spreading among media” in New York that the Jaguars will snag Manziel at No. 3. Conventional wisdom had the Jaguars taking Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack or Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins at that spot.
But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Jags are interested in taking a quarterback. The franchise has been crippled by the awful decision to take Blaine Gabbert in 2011, and the team’s current starting quarterback is Chad Henne.
The Jaguars traded up six spots to take Gabbert 10th overall during the 2011 NFL Draft, surrendering the 16th overall pick and a second-round pick to the Washington Redskins to do so. Gabbert is now eating up a roster spot on the San Francisco 49ers, and boasts a career quarterback rating of 66.4. He’s been a horrific bust.
By trading Gabbert away, the Jags opened a spot on their roster. They certainly need a young quarterback to develop behind Henne, but most expected them to address that need on the second day of the draft. But, frankly, if they really love Manziel they should dive in and grab him while they have the chance.
I’m not incredibly high on Manziel, as his footwork and mechanics are atrocious and could need years of work to iron out. But he undoubtedly has the innate ability to make plays and provide excitement, and Jacksonville is easily the NFL’s least-exciting franchise.
Manziel might be exactly what the Jaguars need right now.