As you probably know, the Senior Bowl is this weekend, lending us an early look at what the Jaguars might be thinking about as they move into the final stages of scouting the 2008 Draft Class. While it's pretty early and a lot of speculation, I'm going to run through the list of prospects and see what we can conclude.
(In no particular order)
- Jordan Dixon, Linebacker, Colorado: Dixon is a 5'11, 221 lb, Inside linebacker. He was the Defensive Player of the Year for the Big 12, and accumulated 280 tackles in his 3 year college career. I'm told that he's a better run blocker than in coverage as he's not the quickest. He's one of those "big motor" players that makes up in intensity what he might lack in ability. Biggest upside to him is that he's a form tackler who wraps up and shuts down plays. Maybe he could teach our guys a thing our two. Of course, it's highly unlikely that we'd invest a first day pick on a linebacker, considering our depth, but I wouldn't be surprised to see us grab at least one in rounds 3-5.
- Wallace Gilberry, Defensive End, Alabama: Wallace is a 6'2, 262 lb, DE who's probably a situational run stuffer at best in the NFL. While the Jaguars need help at defensive end, Wallace is best at stopping the run, but lacks the speed and agility to be a true edge rusher. He did have 11.5 sacks in his college career, but I'd imagine they were probably coverage sacks rather than the result of his skills. I don't see him being a Jaguar unless the team finds out something that the scouts and draftniks dont.
- Phillip Wheeler, Inside Linebacker, Georgia Tech: Here we've got a 6'1, 234 lb, inside linebacker. The second ILB the Jaguars have reportedly talked to/shown interest in during the Senior Bowl Practices. He had 153 tackles, 26 for loss, 13 sacks and 4 interceptions in his college career, and is known for being aggressive, quickly sheding blocks, solid open field tackler (YAY) and can read the quarterback in pass coverage. He's a bit small for an inside linebacker and might get overwhelmed by much larger offensive linemen. As far as the Jaguars are concerned, I still don't see us taking an inside linebacker, though it's possible if something crazy were to develop, like losing Mike Peterson (cut or trade).
- Kendall Langford, DE, Hampton: I like everything about this guy, from his size (6'5, 290), his energy, and most importantly, his rip move that he uses to blow past linemen and attack the quarterback. He plays with his head up, knowing to try and knock the ball away from the QB, as well as make solid open field tackles. We've seen that players from a small school (Justin Durant) can do well in the NFL, I'd be very, very happy to see the Jaguars draft Kendall in the 2nd or 3rd round, but I'd imagine that his stock's gonna only get higher as we go through draft season. I don't know if he's a round one guy, even with as far back the Jaguars pick...
- Christopher Williams, Offensive Tackle, Vanderbilt: Massive. That's the only way to describe him. Christopher is 6'6, 315 lbs, and is well on his way to 340. He's huge. When one of your "weaknesses" is "still developing into enormous frame", you know you'll be doing fine on Sundays. He'll need coaching, but I think he'll be a good selection, maybe 3rd round? Drafting someone like Williams is a direct shot at Khalif Barnes, who's been inconsistent. There's no way we take an offensive linemen in the 1st or 2nd round, but I wouldn't be surprised if we re-stocked the shelf a bit in the later rounds.
- Gosder Cherilus, Offensive Tackle, Boston College
- Clifford Avril, Defensive End, Purdue, (Local star, went to High School in Green Cove Springs)
- Terrence Wheatley, Cornerback, Colorado
- Leodis McKelvin, Cornerback, Troy
- Kentwan Balmer, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina
- Tavares Gooden, Inside Linebacker, Miami (The U)