JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the anticipation over a second-straight first-overall pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars, fans gathered at Daily’s Place for the draft party on Thursday evening. News4JAX spoke to some of them about their expectations during the draft where, unlike last year, there is a lot of mystery surrounding who the team will take when the draft begins at 8 p.m.
“I think that honestly, they’re going to stick the number one pick even though fans would like to see them trade down,” said Jaguars fan Benjamin Whitney. “With the whole movement last year I think the team is under a lot of pressure just to make that pick that’s going to make the fans happy.”
Following several losing seasons, fans are hopeful there will be an improvement. But will they be patient with the new coaching staff and new head coach Doug Pederson?
“I think fans will be patient,” said David Mendenhall. “All we need to see is progress. We see things are getting better. Things going better than it was last year. Then they’re going to get more excited. They’re going to get pumped up. They’re going to be at the games.”
News4JAX Jaguars analyst Frank Frangie said fans have already been very patient, enduring nine losing seasons in the last 10 years.
“You don’t have a lot of choices here. You can only root for how your team does,” Frangie said. “I think people like Doug Pederson. I think the fact that the Urban Meyer era was so dysfunctional that Shad [Khan] had to pull the trigger so quickly on him that people are relieved. It’s different.”
Some fans are optimistic about the pieces that are already in place, like franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence and James Robinson, who broke the NFL record for most scrimmage yards of any undrafted rookie.
“I really do think we have pieces in place to be good this year,” said Benjamin Whitney. “Are we going to make it to the playoffs? It’ll be a push but I think we can. I know that their philosophy is win now.”