The Jaguars are looking for some help on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at defensive end. With Matt Roth fully exploring all possible options as a free agent, visiting the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the focus turns to next month's NFL Draft where the Jaguars hold the No. 7 overall pick.
General Manager Gene Smith made that clear that the Jaguars are looking at possibly drafting a defensive end in April during an interview with Jacksonville.com.
I know he's entertaining other teams and I've certainly encouraged him and his agent to do so at this time
North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples is regarded as probably the best defensive end entering the draft and very well may be available when the No. 7 pick comes up. Though Todd McShay projects in his most recent mock draft that the Jaguars would be better suited selecting Iowa offensive lineman Riley Reiff.
Reiff is a safe, high-character pick who fits the draft style of Jags general manager Gene Smith. He will solidify the offensive line and provide protection for second-year QB Blaine Gabbert as he continues to develop. North Carolina DE Quinton Coples is the most talented player on the board at this point, but he's the kind of high-upside prospect who doesn't fit Smith's style.
The decision to pick either Reiff or Coples could come down to whether or not the Jaguars re-sign Roth. But Roth did end last season on injured reserve after suffering a concussion, so there could be some concern there.
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