Welcome back to our Glaring Team Needs series! With the college football season wrapping up and close to half the NFL officially out of the playoffs and jockeying for draft position, many fan bases are going to start turning their attention to the NFL's version of Christmas. If you haven't already, now is the time to develop the months long relationship known as, the "Draft Crush", sometimes referred to as, "man crush". Every fan has one. They aren't always someone they consider the best player in the draft, or even at their position. However, some spark, some intuition, leads you back to them time and time again. Every one develops theirs differently. Do you start with your favorite teams need? Is it a top player from your alma mater or favorite college program? Something you find in their background or on film? A combination of all these things (all of which will be found here at Mocking the Draft)? How do you find yours? Maybe a better question is how do the people running your team find theirs. Lets take a look at the Cardinals, Eagles, and the newly sold Jaguars.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Biggest Need: WR Gabbert has struggled so far in his first season, but he could use help with one of the worst WR corps in the NFL. Mike Thomas is not a #1 WR and neither is anyone else on the roster. Getting weapons for the new QB to throw to will be a focus in Jacksonville. 2012 Draft Pick - Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State On paper Blackmon's stature would lean toward possession receiver, but his explosion helps set him apart at the collegiate level. Getting Blackmon to harness that explosion and gain extra separation from his route running will make him a real weapon in the NFL.
2. Arizona Cardinals - Biggest Need: Pass Rush The Cardinals have positioned themselves for a spot in the later portion of the top ten picks in the draft. The downside to this is that this position may have them out of the running for the top OTs in the draft, but they could secure another big need by getting a pass rusher to replace Clark Haggans across from Sam Acho. Getting a big time pass rushing presence early and grabbing an offensive lineman in the top of the second would be an interesting way to maximize their draft value with the top OT gone. 2012 Draft Pick - Melvin Ingram, OLB/DL South Carolina By the time the all star games and combine have come and gone, Ingram could be considered one of the highest rated 3-4 OLB available. He has the strength, speed, and potential to have an immediate and long term impact. He is scheme versatile (plays 4-3 DE/DT at South Carolina with the size and speed to play 5tech or 3-4 OLB) but has the skills to be a big time pass rusher in a 3-4 system. His biggest knock will be his height, listed at 6'2", but with his speed and long arms that helps at OLB with leverage against taller OTs.
3. Philadelphia Eagles - Biggest Need: LB I am not a big proponent of taking linebackers that don't rush the passer early in the draft (investment to on-field impact ratio), but the Eagles have invested in every other position and need some more talent in the corps as a whole. 2012 Draft Pick - Manti Te'o, MLB Notre Dame Te'o would bring size and speed that is lacking in the current makeup of the Eagles LB roster.