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2014 NFL draft rumors: Jacksonville Jaguars won't pass on Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney's speed off the edge could make him a better option for the Jaguars than a potential franchise quarterback. Jadeveon Clowney's speed off the edge could make him a better option for the Jags than a potential franchise QB. (Alex Menendez/AP)

The Jacksonville Jaguars will have the opportunity to address needs on both side of the ball with their No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Many believe that Jacksonville could be focused on one of the top signal-callers in the draft class -- Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and UCF's Blake Bortles -- but they could instead have their eyes on improving along the defensive front.

According to ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., the Jaguars will not pass on South Carolina standout Jadeveon Clowney if he is available when they are on the clock.

"The Jags decided to re-sign Chad Henne, and while I don't think they did so based on the idea he's an immovable object at starter, I do think they believe they can win football games with him starting if they improve everywhere else," Kiper wrote in his latest column. "And Clowney certainly improves a pass rush that we've been talking about as a draft priority for way too long."

SANCHEZ: AFC O-line coach believes Clowney will struggle in rookie season

Clowney is one of the most talented defensive players to come around in the past decade, and the Jaguars desperately need to improve their pass rush, which ranked tied for last in the NFL in sacks with just 31. So putting their quarterback needs on hold to boost their defensive presence could be a move that pays off in the long run.

Henne is by no means a star quarterback, but he showed the league last year that he is capable of running the Jaguars offense with some effectiveness.

BANKS: Florida NFL teams making all the right moves in free agency

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