Jaguars 2009 Draft: The Case for Number Eight

The Jaguars had pick number 26 last year and traded all the way up to number 8 in order to draft rookie Derrick Harvey in the first round. Now, they'll have the number eight overall pick again courtesy of a 5-11 record. The Front Office debacle that was the 2008 Jacksonville Jaguars has already claimed it's prize victim... James Shack Harris. Shack's departure has opened up the door for one of the organization's "old hats". Gene Smith has worked his way up through the Jaguars' organization and is more than deserving of this opportunity. He has earned it, and I for one look forward to his regime's first draft. He is the epitome of how hard work can pay off.

One of the major issues facing Gene is what to do with the number eight overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft? Some are calling for him to trade down, others are screaming for one of the top tackles to be taken with the pick, and still others are crying for the team to just draft the best available player at number 8 as a surefire way to fill one of our many holes. I have to say I agree with the two latter choices, either taking one of the top three tackles, or using the pick on another position of need on the team.

The major complaint of having a top draft pick is the money the team is required to invest in the player. Well, the Jags inadvertently did themselves a major favor by not cracking under Harvey's contract demands. They set the bar low (relatively speaking) for this year's number 8 pick. The team signed Harvey to 23.8 million dollar contract with possible incentives reaching only 33 million. Only 17.5 million of that is guaranteed money. When you compare that to Vernon Gholston's contract of 5 years 50 million with 21 million guaranteed, or Sedrick Ellis' deal worth 39 million with 19.5 million guaranteed, the deal the Jags got looks awfully sweet.

So, the Jaguar's frugality paid off and is a major reason the team can afford to pay another number 8 pick this year should they choose to do so. The other issue is that the Jaguar's hurt themselves by getting such a good deal from the Ravens to jump up from 26. The Ravens got two 3rd rounders and a 4th rounder to drop 18 spots. They then gave up a 3rd and a 6th to jump back up to 18. So to drop 10 spots, they gained a 3 and a 4, and lost a 6th. Not that great of a deal.

Another trade example is what NE did. They traded the number 7 pick and their 5th rounder for the Saints number 10 pick and their 3rd rounder. That would seem to be a much more feasible trade in my opinion, however, I don't think you can justify making that trade if one of the three main LT are on the board because I don't think the reward of one extra pick is worth losing out on the chance to draft a fixture at LT. 

All I'm saying is that the Jaguar's can afford to pay another number 8 pick because of how well they negotiated Harvey's contract. Plus, the trade value of a top 10 pick isn't what it used to be and I doubt the Jags are going to get anything more than what they gave the Ravens last year... I'm not sure that's worth giving up one of the stalwart LTs in this year's draft. 

What should we do? Trade at all costs, or get the best player we can?

-Collin

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