1) pass rush.
they had 14 sacks in 16 games, last I read. That's embarrassing for a team that has a defensive head coach. DE's Derrick Harvey (8th pick in 2008) and Quentin Groves didn't make much of a difference. Harvey still has potential but might need someone else to take the double teams. Groves (2nd rounder in 2008) was 3rd string at one point. I'm no expert, but wow! They say it takes until the third season for development, so we'll see. Regardless, help is needed. DT John Henderson is a run-stuffer, not a pass rusher and he is getting old. I have to wonder if he and his salary are on the team in 2010. Detroit has our old VP of personnel or whatever title he held (Shack Harris). Detroit needs DT's, right?
The main safeties at the end of the season were FS-Reggie Nelson, FS converted to SS-Gerald Alexander, who was going to get cut from the Lions, and S-Anthony Smith. I believe Smith was a FS before he came to the Jags. None of them were great. Nelson was embarrassing at times, despite being one of the best athletes on the field. Jags G Uche Nwnaneri has recently stated on the Jaguars.com message boards that Reggie Nelson has been in a suit and tie studying game film with the coaches since two weeks after the season ended. I was impressed, but his play was awful. I really hope it gets better. Gerald Alexander made some plays here and there and Anthony Smith had a few. It's sad that waiver players are the most impressive. With Matt Schaub and Peyton Manning in your division, you need star safeties.
I don't know which one. G Uche Nwaneri also stated that the Jags were moving him to LG (from RG). Then I read that he might go to C. I think it depends on what the Jags draft. LG Vince Manuwai started in 2009, one year after recovering from ACL surgery (i think, maybe MCL). Manuwai will be 30 when the season starts. Brad Meester, long-time C, will be 33. Nwaneri will be 26, so he's still young. I realize that offensive lineman can last longer than most players, but I also notice the need for some freshness to the middle of the line. Freshness that can allow such an amazing talent as RB Maurice Jones-Drew to not get hit in the backfield constantly.
4) More Youth at DT
Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton was a great find in the 3rd round from Temple, but we need more. When you dominate the lines, you got a chance.
It really is this low on the list. If MJD can run, and David Garrard can have his 3 seconds, then the team can succeed. The wrench in the plan is that when you know that a rare find at QB is on the board, you have to take him. Especially when Garrard will start the season at 32 years of age. I used to say he was the youngest 30-year old QB, but after landing atop the QB rankings for most hit the last two years. I think he's about to balance out. The smart call would be to draft more lineman this year and then look for a QB next season. GM Gene Smith is very adament about Best Available Player. He stated that WR Tiquan Underwood, 7th rounder from Rutgers, was the only player that wasn't atop their board when they drafted that they drafted. They drafted him because of his speed and their doubt that he would sign with them in UDFA.
6) LB Depth
Possibly a starting OLB as Clint Ingram didn't do that well. UDFA Russel Allen from San Deigo state looks to have earned a starting spot on the outside. Darrly Smith was mentioned by head coach Jack Del Rio as being the only LB to be assured a starting spot. I thought Justin Durant played with smarts and speed. I really liked him, but I'm not as good watching the defense on a broadcast.
Torry Holt has been released. I like Torry and I think he can still produce. He magically disappears in coverage and then re-appears wide open. He makes strange catches. It blows my mind. I like Garrard but I do not believe that Garrard got the most out of him. 2nd year WR's Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dillard proved great depth while WR Troy Williamson should return (contracts up, he's an RFA) to start opposite break-out player Mike Sims-Walker. They could use more, but it's not a necessity for a running team. With the way the NFL is going, they might not be a running team for long. MJD could be the next Brian Westbrook.
8) Tim Tebow
As I stated earlier, GM Gene Smith is BAP. I don't see the Jags drafted a player for the hype to help sell tickets. I also don't see the Jags drafting a player with horrible mechanics. They've been there and done that. Besides, Tebow wouldn't start. How long would that fandemonium really last? Winning sells tickets. Good draft classes produce winning teams.
They will get the value pick or trade back.
If the NFL has taught us anything in 2009, it's: "you have to pass, to win". We can't do that.