Owners of the second pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars are set to keep an eye on quarterback Geno Smith when he participates in the West Virginia Pro Day. On Tuesday morning, new Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell answered fan questions and revealed that he intends to take a look at the passer in person on Thursday.
Widely considered to be the best quarterback in the draft, Smith is the cream of a passer crop that has been panned by most. Among the detractors is ESPN's draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., who argued earlier in the offseason that there wasn't a quarterback worth taking in the first round.
However, Caldwell told fans on Tuesday morning that the Jaguars intend to build as a needs-based team during his tenure, rather than the typically accepted best-player-available philosophy. This echoes the same sentiment that he told John Oehser of Jaguars.com earlier in the offseason:
"We're going to be a needs-based team. If comparable, we'll go with the greater need."
While not quite as revolutionary a philosophy as it may sound at first, the needs-based strategy for the Jaguars could lead the team to attempt to address the quarterback position early in the draft. While the Jaguars have publicly said that Blaine Gabbert will be given a chance to compete, he was the selection of a prior regime and Caldwell has no ties to the former-top 10 pick.
In two seasons with the Jaguars, Gabbert has had plenty of struggles, accumulating a 5-19 record as a starter and a career passer rating of 70.2.