The Jacksonville Jaguars have three immediate needs in the 2010 draft, and they all lie on the defensive side of the football.
The Jaguars had a miserable time at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They tallied an NFL-worst 14 sacks in 2009, and to put that into perspective, two players -- Elvis Dumervil and Jared Allen -- actually had more sacks themselves than the entire Jacksonville team. The Jaguars have suffered from two recent bust picks at defensive end, forcing the team to focus on the exterior of the defensive line again.
Whether it's a drop-off in skills or just a poor showing of tackling from safety Reggie Nelson, his play has caused concern for the Jaguars, too, and they may also take a look at a safety here. The other options on the roster aren't exactly Pro-Bowl material, and an upgrade at safety would be pleasant.
The third area of concern in Jacksonville in at outside linebacker. Daryl Smith and Justin Durant are cemented in at linebacker, but the team could use an outside guy with speed to attack or drop into coverage.
With a final caveat, it's worth mentioning that Tim Tebow is climbing in recent mock drafts -- even into the first round. As nice as it would be to add a hometown kid to the roster, especially to help fill empty seats, there are more pressing needs than quarterback to fill with the tenth pick in this draft. So maybe the fans did Jacksonville a favor by sending Tebow to Oakland in this mock.
Previous Pick: Buffalo - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa; Next Up: Denver
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Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: I know that I said that the Jaguars needed help with their pass rush -- and he will definitely bolster that aspect of the defense -- but Morgan also lends help against the run. Morgan is one of the best pass-rushers in the draft, and he can also drop into coverage if needed. This kind of versatility will be a boon for the Jaguars.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF: Pierre-Paul has the size and strength to battle up front with anyone, at any level, right now. His speed to the quarterback is uncanny and his upside is as high as any exterior lineman in the draft. He's not nearly as polished as Morgan, since he doesn't have the numbers of years at the college level under his belt, which makes him a lesser choice here for a team that may be looking to draft a safe pick.
Earl Thomas, S, Texas: The Jaguars could use a mentally ready, athletic free safety with ball hawking skills galore. Thomas would be a natural fit here to fill the glaring void at safety and respond to the doubters around who feel Reggie Nelson is turning into a bust.
Rolando McLain, LB, Alabama: What's not to like about McClain? He's a great tackler, has leadership instincts that will allow him to start from day one, and he's a great thinking linebacker. He's also the top rated inside linebacker in this draft, which could be his downfall witht he Jaguars. Jacksonville is in dire need of an outside linebacker, but could reach here to McClain since he's the best at his position and is ready for NFL play now.
|1.||St. Louis Rams||Sam Bradford||QB||Oklahoma|
|2.||Detroit Lions||Ndamukong Suh||DT||Nebraska|
|3.||Tampa Bay Bucs||Gerald McCoy||DT||Oklahoma|
|4.||Washington Redskins||Russell Okung||OT||Oklahoma St.|
|5.||Kansas City Chiefs||Eric Berry||S||Tennessee|
|6.||Seattle Seahawks||C.J. Spiller||RB||Clemson|
|7.||Cleveland Browns||Jimmy Clausen||QB||Notre Dame|
|8.||Oakland Raiders||Tim Tebow||QB||Florida|
|9.||Buffalo Bills||Bryan Bulaga||OT||Iowa|