AFC Notes: Jags, Bridgewater, Claiborne

The 2013 NFL draft was a curious one in several respects, with its most notable quirk being the lack of top-tier talent at the quarterback position. For twelve years, at least four QBs were taken in the first round of the draft, but in 2013, only one was selected (E.J. Manuel). The tradition of a quarterback-heavy first round figures to return in full force this season, with a bevy of signal-callers projected to be drafted early.

However, quarterbacks that might be taken on Day 2 or Day 3 of the draft offer skill-sets that in many respects are equally as intriguing as their Day 1 counterparts, and Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union wonders if the Jaguars would be better served selecting one of the “second-tier” QBs instead of targeting one of the players expected to go in the first round. Specifically, O’Halloran names SEC products Zach Mettenberger, Aaron Murray, and A.J. McCarron as possible solutions to Jacksonville’s quarterback woes. Such a selection would allow the Jags to land a truly elite talent with their No. 3 overall pick, rather than play the lottery with high-ceiling but concerning talents like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and Teddy Bridgewater.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Speaking of Bridgewater, his quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator at Louisville, Sam Watson, believes the young QB is a “slam dunk” despite his oft-criticized Pro Day performance, writes Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. As Ulrich notes, the Browns, who are expected to take a quarterback with one of their two first-round choices (Nos. 4 and 26 overall) might be inclined to agree.
  • The Browns, however, are also interested in Aaron Murray, who visited with Cleveland on Wednesday and will work out for the team today, writes Jason Butt of the National Football Post.
  •’s Rich Cimini writes that if the Jets are unable to land a CB in the first round of the draft, they may be in the market for a veteran corner, possibly via trade. Although the Cowboys’ Morris Claiborne has been discussed as a trade possibility, the cap charge Dallas would have to absorb if they dealt Claiborne ($9.6MM) would probably make such a trade untenable.
  • In the same piece, Cimini writes that the Jets were interested in WR Julian Edelman before he re-signed with New England, and Rex Ryan was very intrigued with the possibility of stealing Edelman away from New York’s division rival.
  •’s Mike Reiss believes that, with the above-mentioned run on quarterbacks that is expected to take place in the first round of this year’s draft, a top-15 or even top-10 talent could fall to the Patriots at No. 29.
  • In the same piece, Reiss adds that Patriots VP of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is scheduled to meet with Illinois TE Evan Wilson early this week.
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