I love the Jaguars. That's the first thing I have to say. I am also a daily reader of BCC and I thought i should try this so hopefully my first post is up to par. Every year I go crazy over the NFL draft and I'm expecting this year to be the same. As the season starts to die down, it is more clear where the Jaguars will be drafting. Right now they are in the 17-19 range and they will most likely stay there unless they make a deep playoff run. After the jump I'll explain how I think the Jaguars could continue to be successful through the draft and where they could potentially find talent.
After watching David Garrard's inconsistency at quarterback, it seems obvious that a new franchise quarterback needs to be drafted. I am a big fan of Garrard and i love the the fact he is a dual threat quarterback, but our team needs a reliable passer who can get the job done in crunch time. Since Luck won't be on the board in the first round when we pick and i don't think Gene will even think about grabbing Cam Newton, Locker and Mallett look like very realistic possibilities. Honestly, I am more impressed with Mallett and i feel like he has all the physical tools to be a pro quarterback. With the multiple young threats that Gene Smith has brought to the team(Hill, Thomas, Miller, Jennings, and hopefully Dillard), we need a quarterback that can spread the ball around and go through his reads and find the open man. We are very lucky to have such a great back in Jones-Drew and a solid offensive line. Mallett could provide our team with the passing threat that would perfectly compliment Mojo. I am by no means an expert in football and just turned 18 so i haven't watched as much as many people on this site, but it feels like our team could be very explosive on offense and we are an elite quarterback away from doing very big things. Gene Smith doesn't seem to want to build this team through free agency so the only way to get an elite quarterback is to hopefully draft well.
Also, I understand that we still have multiple holes on defense and I am expecting Gene to continue to draft and bring in talent on the defensive side of the ball. My mom attended West Virginia so i am an avid Mountaineer fan, and this year they have a very strong defense. There are two players who could potentially be very solid options for our secondary. The first player is Robert Sands.He is nothing like the prototypical safety in that he is 6' 4'' and is huge. He can lay out running backs when he steps up into the box and ca also play in coverage. Playing in the 3-3-5, Sands knows how to cover and play free safety if he has to and he could be a very strong player in the NFL. Also, some of you Florida State fans may remember him from the bowl game last year when he had 11 tackles and was all over the field. He is projected as a late second rounder at the moment so hopefully he falls after the NFL combine. Another player they have is their All Big East cornerback Brandon Hogan. He would be a late round pick and has a good combination of speed and athleticism. He's a very good cover corner and was injured for their bowl game so I'm sure few of you have heard of him, but he has natural ball hawking skills. These are just a few players that I've had a chance to watch grow in college and really like their potential.
The last prospect who i think is interesting for the Jaguars is Greg Romeus. I think most football fans know who he is after a monstrous junior year at Pittsburgh. This year he has had a back injury and an extremely unfortunate knee injury and his draft status is up in flames. He is a player who has a great desire to play the game, much like Kampman, and if he had entered the draft last year, he would have been a first round pick. I've noticed that many of the players that Gene Smith brings in for the practice squad were middle round draft picks who sustained an injury and were waived. It seems to me that he is trying to continuously bring in athletes and talent in hopes that he can find a diamond in the rough. This has already worked with Jason Hill, by the way. This just made me think about Romeus because he is a tremendous athlete who could potentially be a very good starting defensive end in the NFL if he can regain even 80% of the play he had his junior year. With Kampman potentially never returning to his original form, drafting a DE somewhere in the draft could be beneficial to the d line and Romeus could be a late round steal if healthy.
By no means do i care if anyone from West Virginia University ever plays for the Jaguars. I would just like to see the Jaguars finally rise to national prominence. I trust Gene Smith's drafting even though i was skeptical at first. He's caught everyone by surprise the last two years. The players he has brought in have produced and are in position to win us the game on Sunday against Houston. I believe Mallett and Sands could continue to add great talent to the team and hopefully help the Jaguars build a run similar to the Colt's.
Let me know what you think. Hopefully I'm not completely off base here.