For our second look at the offensive side of the ball, we have the Missouri Tigers' Mr.Everything, Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is an explosive punt returner and wide receiver who helped lead Missouri to the 2007 and 2008 Big XII North championships, and helped vault them to being the #1 team in the country at one point during the 2007 season. Maclin was one of the most electrifying players in all of college football the last two years, and could certainly help the Jaguars.
Now before you go, "Oh no John, you've been the one riding the Left Tackle bandwagon, don't you try to say all of the sudden we should take a WR," I think Maclin would be our first rounder in a different circumstance. I think Maclin becomes a primary target is the Jaguars trade out of the #8 spot and collect picks.
It's no secret the Jaguars have been burned by first round wide outs. R. Jay Soward is saved by Ryan Leaf and Jacksonville's market size from being remembered as the biggest bust in recent memory, Reggie Williams failed to live up to top 10 billing, and Matt Jones has been, well Matt Jones.
Since Jimmy Smith retired, the Jaguars have been lacking in a guy who makes sure a safety thinks twice about heading into the box and not helping the corner out. Jeremy Maclin could very well be that player.
Video Killed the Scouting Report
Jeremy Maclin: By The Numbers
4.29: Maclin's 40-yard dash time
13: 1st team All American lists as a freshmen, consensus 1st team in 2008
202.4: Maclin's all purpose yards per game to lead the NCAA in 2008
2776: All purpose yards during his freshmen season to set a NCAA freshmen record
According to the Experts
-Speed to burn
-Can upgrade any return game in the league Day 1
-Strong work ethic, improved greatly in route running from Freshmen to Sophomore year
-Great Character guy
-Not the best upperbody strength
-By greatly improved route running, that means from horrible to slightly below par
-Will be behind the curve because of the "Sandlot" style nature of the spread offense.
According the the Blogosphere
I had a conversation with SBN's Missouri Tiger bloggers, RockMNation about Maclin, and this is what they had to say.
-On Maclin's toughness
His toughness is hard to evaluate because it is hard to define. Outside of the blown knee in 2006 and missing a quarter or so of the 2008 season opener, Maclin never really missed any significant time. However, Maclin did seem to have a tendency to get "nicked up" rather often. I could probably count six or seven times over two years that J-Mac was slow to get up, hobbled to the sideline, or favored a bruised shoulder. Maclin never seemed fazed by it, though, as he was usually back on the field making plays a play or two later. I would never question Maclin's mental toughness though. He's shown a remarkably cool head in his time at Mizzou, and despite being an "explosive" breed of receiver, he's gone over the middle and into traffic whenever asked and performed at a very high level. He got rocked going over the middle a number of times in his career, only to bounce back up and torch those same defenders later in the game.
-On Maclin's Work Ethic and Character
I've never heard a bad word about Maclin's work ethic. Maclin was a transcendent type of athlete for Mizzou in 2007, so no one would have had any concern if he strolled into 2008 as that same player. What was scary, though, is that he didn't become complacent. He added weight and worked with coaches relentlessly, improving his route running and his mental handle of the game. QB Chase Daniel and the Missouri coaches were effusive about Maclin's offseason work, again quoting how "scary" it was how much Maclin had improved.
Why Jeremy Maclin Should Be a Jaguar
If Gene Smith wants "Character" guys, I've run across few that have impressed me as much as Maclin has. He seems to be DeSean Jackson, except without all the behavior issues and even faster. While he may lack the freakish size one expects of a typical #1 reciever, I think the NFL is seeing that you don't need that kind of guy anymore. Maclin is in that breed of player that defines the phrase "Give an inch, take a mile" or better yet "Give a inch, take it to the house."
Next up on Wednesday: Wake Forest Corner Alphonso Smith