The Jaguars 2008 Draft: A case study on bad draft strategy


With Quentin Groves being traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 5th round pick, just two years after he was selected in the 2nd round, I believe I can say this statement without any hyperbole. The Jaguars 2008 draft was the single worst draft by any team in the NFL in the last decade. In 2008, Shack Harris not only made a swing for the fence pick in the 1st round, he swung for the fence with the entire draft.

Just why did the Jaguars draft fail so spectacularly in 2008? It wasn't just selling out to get Derrick Harvey in round one, Quentin Groves' ability to do nothing, or that the Jaguars only drafted five players that sunk this draft. It was a perfect storm of hubris, overreaching, and a host of other issues.

Hubris

I can't find the exact quote at the moment, so please feel free to provide a link in the comments. Following the Jaguars 2008 draft, Harris was asked why the Jaguars traded away so many picks. Harris responded by saying he felt the Jaguars roster was so strong that even players taken as early as round three would have a hard time making the roster.

Let that one sink into your brain for a minute. It's one thing to think you have a talented team. Coming off of the 2007 season where the Jaguars won a thrilling playoff game in Pittsburgh and almost knocked off New England, they were a trendy Super Bowl pick. However, it's the GMs job to take a sober look at a roster and make it better.

This is the same roster that had three wide receivers that would be cut less than a year later and sat out the entire 2009 NFL season because no one wanted them. That roster had Cleo Lemon as the back up QB, Drayton Florence as the most overpaid nickle back in the league, Tony Pashos at right tackle, amongst a host of other players who are no longer around.

I'm sure at least one of those third round picks could be contributing to this team.

Bad Personnel Decisions

This was originally entitled bad scouting, but scouting info is only as good as the person looking at it. When a team makes a "sell out" kind of trade like the Jaguars did in 2008, you only make it for a once in a generation kind of player or a QB with franchise written all over him.

Instead, the Jaguars sold out to make a pick that describes the majority of their first rounders from that era, an athletically gifted prospect who is a mediocre football player. Now, I've defended Harvey a lot, but that was the general consensus about him coming out of Florida.

The trade for Groves was another face palm worthy move. No matter what Groves wanted to play, he had to be a 3-4 LB in the NFL. For him to have struggled so badly against lineman in the NFL, any scout should have been able to see that coming.

The Jaguars should have taken the time to figure out a better strategy than "Let's get a pass rusher in the first two rounds come hell or high water."

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