Jacksonville Jaguars' draft needs: Khalil Mack suits Gus Bradley

Roster weaknesses: Every team has them, and the draft is often the best way to address them. With the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaching, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah will be taking an up-close look at the main areas of weakness -- and the prospects who could fix them -- for all 32 squads in the league. Be sure to catch "Path to the Draft" on NFL Network at 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for more in-depth analysis.

In their second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell look to build on an encouraging second half of the 2013 campaign. I expect them to do just that, as these two are highly respected around the league. With 11 draft picks at their disposal -- including seven in the top 150 -- they will field a better squad in 2014.

This regime's biggest task, of course, is to find a long-term answer at the position that bedeviled prior leadership: quarterback. Blaine Gabbert, the No. 10 overall pick in 2011, is gone -- traded this offseason to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round draft pick. Chad Henne re-upped with the club on a two-year deal in March, but we already know he isn't a true franchise guy to build a team around.

The Jags need to supply their quarterback -- regardless of who's under center -- with an explosive weapon on the outside. Caldwell just revealed that he will be "relatively surprised" if suspended wide receiver Justin Blackmon suits up in 2014. Thus, while former fourth-round pick Cecil Shorts III has been a pleasant surprise over the past couple seasons, this receiving corps needs more juice.

Given Bradley's background, you know he has his eye on some defensive prospects, particularly those who can wreak havoc off the edge.

Without further ado, here are four positions of need for Jacksonville -- and some prospects who could fill them:

1) Quarterback

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Henne just isn't the permanent answer here. The Jaguars could scoop up Johnny Manziel with the No. 3 overall pick -- a move that would create a buzz around Shahid Khan's franchise -- but they're more likely to address the position later in the draft.

Jacksonville's staff coached Derek Carr in the Senior Bowl. It'd make sense for the Jaguars to take the Fresno State product with their second-round pick (No. 39 overall) -- or use some of their ample draft capital to trade into the back end of the first round and acquire the QB's services. One guy to keep track of in the middle rounds: David Fales, the prolific passer from San Jose State.

2) Edge rusher

Bradley brought in a familiar face from his Seahawks days -- defensive end Chris Clemons -- but Jacksonville still has a need in this area. After all, the Jaguars just finished dead last in sacks, logging a grand total of 31 over the course of last season.

Khalil Mack would be a great fit in Gus Bradley's defense. As a pass rusher, he has the ability to win with speed or power -- and he boasts effective counter moves, to boot. Not to mention, Mack's also adept at dropping into coverage.

3) Wide receiver

Blackmon is obviously talented, but the young wideout just can't stay out of trouble (and on the field). Consequently, the franchise still needs a pure, reliable No. 1 receiver. Sammy Watkins certainly fits the bill. In fact, I have him rated as the No. 1 offensive (and No. 2 overall) prospect in this entire draft class.

That said, there are plenty of WR options in this draft. I like Jared Abbrederis as a potential fourth-round steal. A stalwart at Wisconsin, Abbrederis is very quick, and he can play inside or outside.

4) Center

Jacksonville attempted to fill this need in free agency, getting Alex Mack to sign a five-year, $42 million offer sheet. But alas, the Browns matched the deal, keeping the Pro Bowl center in Cleveland. So it's back to the drawing board for the Jags ...

Like Carr, Nevada's Joel Bitonio worked with Jacksonville's staff at the Senior Bowl. The versatile offensive lineman has the ability to play all five positions, but some teams like him most at the pivot. (Jags coaches tested him out there during the week in Mobile, Alabama.)



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Projections

So what will the Jaguars do with their first-round pick (No. 3 overall)? Here's what NFL Media's analysts see happening, according to their mock draft projections (click here for Mock Draft Central):

Daniel Jeremiah: Khalil Mack
Bucky Brooks: Johnny Manziel
Charles Davis: Sammy Watkins
Matt Smith: Khalil Mack
Chase Goodbread: Khalil Mack

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.