After looking at the most recent mock draft by Brian Galliford and seeing some of the picks, I started wondering if any of those players were being targeted by Gene Smith. I wrote a fanpost a while ago about a specific player I was interested in potetentially becoming a Jaguar. It was CB Prince Amukamara from Nebraska and in the mock he is slotted at #4 going to the Cowboys. As we have a lot of football to be played, therefore are far from having draft spots being projected to teams, it's very possible that these players will still be some of the first to come off of the board. So with all of this being said, I was wondering if it was possible that the Jags could trade up to get a targeted player. With the disappointment of Derrick Harvey and all that was given up in '08 draft to trade up and select him, I wouldn't be surprised if the Jaguars have become reluctant to trade up in the first round.
With the trade up in the third round of the '09 draft to select Derek Cox and the attempted trade up with Dallas in this previous draft, in the second round, to select LB Sean Lee; it's clear to see that Gene will trade up if he sees value in it. It's interesting to note that he gave up a second round pick in the '10 draft to trade up in the '09 draft to select Cox, so he uses every trade angle available to him. Going into the draft the Jags will have nine picks with two in the fourth and two in the seventh, including there original picks in the other rounds. So Gene will have trade bait to manuever without having to touch any of his draft picks from a later draft as he had to in '09. As it is impossible to tell who Gene is targeting, it is very possible there is a player that he would like to draft but would have to trade up to get him.
It might not be the player I am referring to but there are other talents such as CB Patrick Robinson from LSU, DE Adrian Clayborn from Iowa, DE Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson, WR A.J. Green from Georgia, and LB Akeem Ayers from UCLA that could fill a need on this team; that have been tagged as high round selections, that could warrant the team trading up. Lastly, there will also be a few teams that are talent rich that will have a higher pick due to their disappointing '10 seasons, that could be potential trade partners. Mainly, Minnesota, especially after them trading their third round pick for Randy Moss to the Patriots.
But as I said, there is a lot of football left to be played and we are long way from draft spots being projected, so this is pure speculation. If the Jags were to go into this draft with nine picks and left with six players, with at least three of them ready to come in and make an immediate impact and the other three having the talent to make a near-future contribution; I wouldn't be upset at that. It would actually balance out the '09 and '10 drafts, as in '09 we had four players (Monroe, Britton, Knigton and Cox) and in '10 we had one (Alualu) come in and be plug and play type players, so it would be nice if they would leave the draft with three additional starters. Not to mention players such as Rashean Mathis and Justin Durant that have trade value, the Jags could be very active come draft time.
So what about you? Are supportive of the idea of the Jagaurs trading up to draft an unproven talent at the risk of losing picks that could be used to draft players that could make the team better? With me being behind the mantra "In Gene we Trust", I would, but it isn't without a sense of hesitation. If Gene can find Mike Thomas', Deji Karims' and Rashad Jennings' type players in later rounds, I wouldn't mind them staying put and using all of those picks on players that could come in a make this team more competitive. I wouldn't be as supportive of trading down because I don't think this team has the talent pool to be trading away first round picks yet, we aren't the Patriots. Although the second and third rounds can still deliver talented players, I wouldn't want the team to miss out on the chance to get it's next superstar, which is usually selected in the first round. But either way, whatever happens during the draft, I believe the Jaguars will leave it a better team.
What would you prefer the Jags do during the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft?
Trade up - if necessary to get targeted player (19 votes)
Stay put - and stick with draft board (22 votes)
Trade down - and get even more picks (34 votes)
75 total votes