20 regular season games have passed since Gene Smith's first draft class. In 2009, they provided a solid foundation and the future looked bright. Now that the NFL season is at the quarter poll, you can get a real sense of how they're progressing, and who are the real contributors. With that in mind, let's take a look at how the picks have progressed. The letter grades are based on how they've performed relative to where they were drafted, so a "B" for a 1st round pick is different than a "B" for a 6th or 7th.
1. Eugene Monroe, LT, 1st round, 8th Overall
Monroe struggled mightily at the start of his career, particularly in the 2009 opener vs Indianapolis. However, as the year progressed, you could begin to see the changes that were coming. So far in 2010, Monroe has begun to show the signs of a dominant left tackle. Some detractors will point to the 2nd half of the Philadelphia game, but that was just as much of a product of circumstance and who his QB is.
2. Eben Britton, RT, 2nd round, 39th Overall
While Monroe has shown definite signs of improvement, Eben Britton hasn't progressed as nicely. He allowed a league high 59 QB pressures in 2009, and was generally dominated by opposing DEs. After being injured for a good chunk of the preseason, he has begun to show some signs of life in 2010. While not as much progress as Monroe, there is still the signs of being a good RT.
Current Grade: C
3. Terrance Knighton, DT, 3rd round, 72nd Overall
Knighton has become a force in the middle for the Jaguars. He was the lone bright spot on a terrible defensive line in 2009 and has begun to become a force in 2010. Although he played poorly during the first two games, he erupted during the Philadelphia game and it continued vs Indianapolis.
Current Grade: A-
4. Derek Cox, CB, 3rd round, 73rd Overall
And here we come to the true enigma of the class. After leading the Jaguars in interceptions in 2009, Cox has been in for one play since Week 1. Whether it's a toe injury, lost confidence, or more likely landing in Jack Del Rio's dog house, Cox has gone from All-World potential to a potential bust almost overnight.
Current Grade: B-(Assuming he managed to get back on the field)
5.Mike Thomas, WR, 4th round, 107th Overall
The most productive receiver in PAC-10 history has begun to become the Jaguars most productive receiver. He's certainly benefiting from the Jaguars new emphasis on the short passing game, but he's giving Dirk Koetter and crew valid reasons to stay with it.
Current Grade: B+
6. Jarrett Dillard, WR, 5th round, 144th Overall
Dillard was becoming to come into his own until a foot injury ended his season vs the Jets. That injury continued to show itself and caused Dillard to end up on IR for yet another season. Here's hoping his rehab goes well and can see the field in 2010.
Current Grade: D
7. Zach Miller, TE, 6th round, 180th Overall
The athletically gifted converted quarterback had some high hopes heaped on him by fans. Despite being relatively invisible during 2009, big games vs Houston and Cleveland showed the potential. With just 3 receptions, some fans are already on his case. However, he's still learning the position and behind Marcedes Lewis. Still plenty of time for him to become something special.
Current Grade: C
8. Rashad Jennings, RB, 7th round, 250th Overall
After a low point that saw Jennings get stuffed on a crucial 3rd down run vs Tennessee, Jennings has been showing why many considered him a steal. Jennings have been averaging almost 5 yards a carry in 2010 and has begun to see an increased workload.
Current Grade: B
9. Tiquan Underwood, WR, 7th round, 253rd Overall
Underwood was the only Gene Smith pick to not make the roster and spent his time on the practice squad. In 2010, the Underwear League MVP has begun to show a lot of promise. Excelling on kick returns, he finally showed a pair of hands when he made several clutch catches vs Indianapolis.
Current Grade: C