Jaguars Looking To Move On at Quarterback

After four mediocre years with David Garrard as the starter, the Jaguars appear to finally be ready to get back into the quarterback game. Find out which guys are on the team's radar.

The Jaguars haven't drafted a quarterback since 2003 when they drafted Byron Leftwich on the first round.

The long drought explains why they don't have young quarterback in place behind David Garrard.

It's also the main reason they figure to take one in the first two rounds this year in a rich quarterback draft.

Garrard, who was drafted in 2002 by former coach Tom Coughlin, became the starter in 2007 when Leftwich was cut nine days before the start of the season.

Garrard took the Jaguars to the playoffs in 2007 when they beat Pittsburgh for their only playoff victory since 1999.

But the Jaguars have had three consecutive losing seasons under Garrard and there are doubts whether he will he will develop into an elite quarterback although coach Jack Del Rio notes that Rich Gannon took the Raiders to the Super Bowl late in his career.

Still, Garrard will likely remain the starting quarterback this year even if they draft one.

Owner Wayne Weaver, who challenged Garrard a year ago to work harder, said, "I did not call out David. I said David needs to do things better. Well, David has risen to the challenge. There are only 11 quarterbacks (actually 12) ahead of him with a higher passer rating and I believe the guy that's right in front of him is Drew Brees. Do we expect more from David? Yes. We think we'll get more, we think David is going to grow."

Coach Jack Del Rio said at the end of the season, "I think this year David took a step forward in terms of the way he approached the game, the time he put in, the commitment level he had was at an all-time high, and we're going to go back and demand even more."

Still, their backup is journeyman Luke McCown, who spent most of last season on injured reserve and isn't considered the long-term answer.

The question for the Jaguars is whether they can find a long-term answer in this draft.

The top two quarterbacks in the draft, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, figure to be gone before the Jaguars make a selection at No. 16.

And none of the other candidates may be a good value at that pick so the second round may be the place they find a quarterback.

Terry McDonough, the team's director of player personnel, named Colin Kaepernick, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton and Ricky Stanzi as possible second-round picks.

He also said that Ryan Mallett is a wild card.

"He could go anywhere in the first or second round," McDonough said.

Of course, there is a risk on the second round because many quarterbacks on the second round taken in the last decade have been busts. Since 2002, Drew Brees is the only second-round pick who has reached elite status.

The others include Pat White, Jimmy Clausen, Brian Brohm, Chad Henne, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, Drew Stanton, Kellen Clemens, Tarvaris Jackson, Quincy Carter and Marques Tuiasosopo.

McDonough thinks things will be different in the second round this year because it is a deep draft for quarterbacks.

But McDonough adds one warning.

"I've always said quarterback is the toughest position to evaluate," he said.

The Jaguars are likely to find out how well they evaluated the position this season if they decide to select a quarterback for the first time since 2003.

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