ORLANDO – David Caldwell continues to make one thing clear:
When it comes to the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jaguars’ General Manager still ideally wants more selections. That means, yes, he’s open to the idea of trading back. Very, very open.
“We feel like there may be some options for us at three,” Caldwell said late Monday afternoon at the NFL Owners Meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Hotel in Orlando.
“We may have some opportunity to maybe move, or just stay where we’re at.”
Caldwell also said he continues to believe that this is a very good draft, and that the Jaguars could get 3-to-4 starters from the class.
“I think in the second- or third-round you’re going to be looking at some positional players who can come in and help right away,” he said.
Caldwell, who last week attended the Pro Days of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with Head Coach Gus Bradley, Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch and Senior Vice President of Football Technology and Analytics Tony Khan, said Monday the group will attend the Pro Day of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on Thursday.
Caldwell opted to not discuss specifics on the quarterbacks at the top of the draft, but said the team will meet in person with Manziel after Thursday’s workout. Caldwell, Bradley, Fisch and Khan had similar meetings with Bridgewater and Bortles last week.
“Both of those guys are very good kids and very intelligent,” Caldwell said. “I really enjoyed their time.”
The Jaguars currently hold 11 selections in the 2014 draft, including the No. 3 overall selection. Caldwell also said he feels confident that trading back from No. 3 is a possibility and said while the Jaguars haven’t ruled out moving up from three, moving back is more likely.
“We’re still in the second step of our phase here,” Caldwell said.“We’re building this thing and we’re going to try to put together the most talented roster we can.”
Caldwell also said he believes the draft overall is better offensively than defensively, although there are talented defensive players at the top of the draft.
“There are some dynamic players along the defensive line and in the secondary,” he said.
Caldwell on Monday also:
*Said while the Jaguars haven’t ruled out a return for running back Maurice Jones-Drew the sides haven’t talked since the Senior Bowl. Jones-Drew became a free agent following last season, with Caldwell saying shortly after the season Jones-Drew had earned the right to test the market. “We’ll just see how that plays out,” Caldwell said. “We have a ton of respect for MoJo and a ton of respect for his career. We would never say never.” …
*Reiterated what he said earlier in the offseason that wherever the Jaguars select a quarterback in the draft, there’s a good chance the player won’t start immediately. The Jaguars re-signed quarterback Chad Henne at the start of free agency and he is expected to open the offseason and training camp as the starter. “I think with this quarterback class, they’re going to need a little bit of seasoning,” Caldwell said. “Over the course of time, not many quarterbacks are ready to come in and play. The ones that have have spent five years in college in pro-style systems for the most part. There are always exceptions, but these guys coming out this year at the top are juniors and whether or not they’ve been in a pro-style system or not is debatable.” …
*Said the two extra weeks to prepare for the draft this offseason are a positive for the Jaguars, who have an extra fourth-round selection, two extra fifth-round selections and an extra sixth-rounder in the 2014 NFL Draft. The draft will be held May 8-10 this year, two weeks later than its usual late-April slot. “Those are extra two weeks are going to help on the back end of the draft,” he said…