Playing Gene Smith

This is a fun game for me, placing myself in Gene Smith's shoes and asking "What would I do". So here is a very likely scenario for draft day:

The first round of the NFL draft is underway and Jacksonville is on the clock, here are your choices:

  • Aaron Curry, Middle Linebacker from Wake Forest.
  • BJ Raji, Defensive Tackle from Boston College
  • Malcolm Jenkins Corner back from Ohio State
  • Michael Oher Left Tackle from Mississippi
  • Mark Sanchez Quarterback from USC

Here is the new operating philosophy; we select players that have proven they can play the position. We are not reaching or hoping or remaking anyone. Character is also a major decision criterion. We seek a home run draft and will go with Best Available over Need Based. So let's break it down:

Mark Sanchez, the QB coming out early from USC. Mark has one season as the starting QB for USC. This isn't even the same experience as a single NFL season. Great production in the Rose Bowl and great stats as a starter, but even Pete Carroll can't speak for his decision to come out. This is much too much risk and we pass on Mark. 

BJ Raji, Wow what a Senior Bowl this DT had. His 2008 season for Boston College was great. His weight tends to float upward and has to fight to keep it under 350. Where was he in 2007? He sat out the entire season for academic reasons. BC is a good school but not that tough. Got frustrated against Central Michigan and threw a punch at a player, had to be suspended for a bit of the next Clemson game. All in all a good prospect, but just have to question whether the positives are strong enough to outweigh the character and intelligence concerns. As much as we need a DT, BJ doesn't have 8th selection value and we vote to pass.

Michael Oher, is the very athletic Left Tackle from Mississippi. Wow, the needs based drafting urge is strong now. This guy has the size, the strength and he can move. He does get down field and take out linebackers if he needs to. It is so tempting, since he made first team SEC as a Junior and Senior. The problem here is he played only one year on the offensive line in High School and was switched to tackle in his sophomore year of college. None of his coaches stayed long enough to teach him the position. He has three years experience as a left tackle and has a lot to learn, an offensive line version of Derrick Harvey. He has the potential to grow into the position in the pros and he is dedicated to learning, but it is a risk. Any other year, maybe, but we can't risk another first round development project. Vote to pass.

Aaron Curry the outside linebacker from Wake Forest. He chose Wake Forest for the academic quality and plans to go to law school. Was the High School conference defensive player of the year with 123 tackles. All-freshman ACC selection with 45 tackles. Started outside linebacker as a sophomore averaging almost 5 tackles a game and 83 total tackles. As a junior he was second team all-American with 99 tackles and as a senior had 105 tackles and received the Butkus award as the nation's top linebacker. A proven talent, good work ethic, intelligent and strong character. Aaron can't be ruled out.

Malcolm Jenkins, is the CB from Ohio State. Malcolm was a starter for three years in high school as a receiver and defensive back. The team won the State Championships every year, and Malcolm received all-state honors as a defensive back in his senior year. Also was the State Champion in track. Cracked into the line-up for Ohio State as a freshman in nickel situations and started three games as a freshman. As a sophomore was first team all Big Ten as a corner with 55 tackles (40 solo). Finished his college career as the Thorpe award winner as top collegiate defensive back. Considered one of the rare shutdown corners with receiver hands and running ability. .He can play man to man and will come up in run stopping situations. He is not afraid of contact and is intelligent with good character. Malcolm has seven years experience in the position at a Championship level of play and has been recognized as a top player at every level he played.

... And with the eighth selection the Jacksonville Jaguars select Malcolm Jenkins Cornerback from Ohio State.

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