Back in February, March and early-April, when mock drafters were in a frenzy, many thought that John Estes would be a late round pick. There were also quite a few who thought that the Jaguars could be a potential landing spot for the Hawaii center. Instead he watched 7 rounds go by without his name called. Although that may have been a blessing in disguise as he got the opportunity to choose to go to Jacksonville where he may have an opportunity to compete.
The interior line issues of the Jaguars have been well documented here on BCC. The recent addition of Justin Smiley looks to potentially help the problem, but it is far from fixed. If Smiley remains healthy and plays above what is expected of him, the opportunity to move Uche Nwaneri to center as a replacement for the declining Brad Meester would be available, but the question remains as to whether or not Nwaneri could make the transition effectively. What this all boils down to is uncertainty at the center position with no clear replacement for Meester in place. For these reasons, Estes will have a legitimate opportunity to prove himself in training camp as worthy of a roster spot.
After redshirting in 2005, Estes started every game for the following four years setting the NCAA record for consecutive starts at 54. Not only did he start every game, he played in every single snap of those 54 games. 3,618 snaps without once coming off the field. In his final three years as a Warrior, he earned 1st team All-WAC honors becoming only the 5th Hawaii player to do so, the last being Miami receiver Davone Bess.
In a pass happy offense, Estes allowed only 8.5 sacks and 6 pressures over a span of 2,337 pass plays in his 4 year career. Why, then, would an experienced, polished and durable center like Estes watch 255 players get picked instead of him en route to undrafted free agency?
There are questions as to how well his play will translate to the next level. He's doesn't have great size at 6'2, 302. He doesn't have great speed at a 5.35 40 time. He doesn't have great strength at 25 bench reps. In fact, he's not particularly great at anything and whether or not he'll be able to handle the jump in athleticism from the WAC to the NFL remains to be seen.
Another factor in Estes's falling draft stock was the poor play from former Warrior centers in the NFL before him. Samson Satele projected very similarly to the way Estes did and was drafted by Miami in the 2nd round in 2007. After two seasons he was traded away to Oakland for a 6th rounder and a swap of 4th rounders. Whether or not Estes can break that mold will have to be seen in training camp and preseason, but with turmoil on the interior line of the Jaguars he will get a fair shot.
Video Killed the Scouting Report
John Estes: By the Numbers
Position 1: Center
Position 2: Guard
|Class: Senior||Age: 23|
|Bench Reps: 25||
40 Time: 5.35
According to the Experts:
CBS Sports <---- Click for full report
Quick hands to make the traditional snap and attack the oncoming defender with good hand placement and pop. Good lateral agility and balance to mirror pass rushers. Flashes the ability to anchor and knows how to use leverage, proper hand placement and good balance. Lacks the bulk, strength and long arms to hold up consistently against a powerful bull rush.
Smart, durable and reliable. Off-season work-ethic is obvious with 54 straight games played without an injury. Among most experienced centers in the draft. Uses hands well and takes proper first-level angles. Great mass with good pass blocking with good lateral agility and shot-gun snapping skill.
Lacks overall size some teams prefer at center. Almost exclusive career has been shotgun/spread snaps and will have some transition to traditional 'under-center' snaps. Struggles with run-blocking versus massive nose tackles.