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Jags GM Smith committed to building team from 'inside out'

Gene Smith isn't sure what free agency ultimately will look like this offseason, but the Jacksonville Jaguars general manager would like to bring in "at least a couple of starters" to help last year's 8-8 squad take the next step.

"I'd like to believe we're standing behind what we say -- that it all starts up front," Smith told the team's official website. "Two offensive tackles, two defensive tackles -- now we have a young quarterback and an interior offensive lineman with our first two picks in the last three drafts.

"I do feel like we're building inside out and that we're laying the foundation for sustained success in the future."

The Jaguars aren't done building up the middle, but the chance to take quarterback Blaine Gabbert out of Missouri with the No. 10 pick in last month's draft was something they couldn't pass up.

"This was an exception with Blaine, to have the opportunity to add him to our organization." Smith said. "There aren't as many quarterbacks year to year as there are other positions."

Smith told the site that the Jaguars would like to add "about 19 more players," depending on how free agency develops in an offseason interrupted by a lockout.

"They will be players who have been in an NFL system," Smith said. "That should be less of an adjustment ... bringing a pro player in here than a rookie."

Smith also points to a group of Jaguars who ended up on injured reserve last season -- veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman, offensive tackle Eben Britton, wide receiver Jarett Dillard, center John Estes and defensive backs Terrell Whitehead and Scotty McGee -- as players on whom the team is counting.

"I like some of the players coming off IR," Smith said. "We've always done well in college free agency. We feel like we'll have a chance to add some quality depth there, so with five draft picks and the players we'll be able to sign in pro free agency and the guys coming off IR, we'll have a good group of talent coming in to make a good roster better."

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