Over the last few weeks I have looked at hundreds of mock drafts and i just thought of an idea that could potentially play out in our favor. I know when the draft comes around, certain teams tend to trade down in each round to fit where their needs are on their board. This year in the draft, the Jags can pretty much use help at any defensive position, QB, or offensive line. The first round this year has some of the best defensive line prospects that I've seen in my short history as an avid NFL Draft fan. Here is my draft, which I feel is very unique to what I've seen in other Jags only mocks, with the explanations for each pick.
1st roundel d- I think Gene Smith could ultimately decide to trade down into the mid 20's considering this may be the last draft for Del Rio. The best GMs follow the philosophy of gathering more picks (New England) and with a trade down into the mid 20s the Jags could acquire an early third or late 2nd rounder. The reason why i think Smith could trade down is that the last two years he has addressed the largest needs for the team in the first couple of rounds. The top CB's and safetys are rated towards the end of the first and 2nd rounds and it would be a large reach to take a player like Brandon Harris or Rahim Moore at the 16th pick. I believe if Smith trades down, He should acquire 1) Rahim Moore 2) If Moore is gone, any of the DE left, whether its Aldon Smith, Kerrigan, Heyward, Watt, or Clayborn or 3) Brandon Harris/ Jimmy Smith. Moore is being compared to Ed Reed and its fun to say that the last two UCLA players for the Jaguars turned out to be very good picks.
2nd- Depending on where the Jags go in the first will ultimately change and affect what the Jags do for the rest of the draft. If the Jags miss out on a Defensive back in the first round then that means they will have to use more picks later in the draft to bring in more talent. If the Jags select Rahim Moore in the first, I would like to see them take Jimmy Smith, Ras-I dowling, or any other cornerbacks with second round value. Bringing in two defensive backs will tremendously help our pass defense and will allow our rushers to have more time to get to the QB. If the Jags go DE in the first round, then i can see the Jags taking either a safety or any of the previously mentioned CBs. This could bring a safety like Robert Sands to Jacksonville which would generate a lot of excitement in this city.
2nd/3rd round acquired pick-With this pick i think the Jags will go with a QB that will hopefully learn behind Garrard for a year and be able to take the reigns of the offense. I continue to hear about Andy dalton and Vic and Gene Smith are apparently very high on this kid. I think Dalton will hopefully be there and will make the entire fanbase happy.
original 3rd round pick- With this pick, Gene Smith could d whatever he feels comfortable with. This could be another CB depending on how the draft plays out. I would like to see the Jags take an offensive lineman like a Moffit out of Wisconsin. I could also see the Jags looking at a Wide Receiver. Gene Smith found Mike Thomas in the 4th so i have great faith in him to find a guy who can be explosive and a play maker, hopefully a #1 kind of a guy, in the third.
4th round #1- The Jags' weakness last year was their defense and many of these later round picks can be used to help fill out weak holes in the defense. I would like to see one of these fourth round picks used for the linebacker position. Hopefully a guy like Nate Irving will drop or Casey Mathews. I think the linebacker position is definitely a weakness but there are many linebackers in FA that can come in and provide immediate help. Thats why i think our team can wait a little longer in the draft to try and bring a linebacker in.
4th round #2- Im not sure where some players are rated due to injury in their senior year but I really like Greg Romeus out of Pittsburgh. He was a first round pick last year who chose to return to school. He may still be valued as a higher round draft pick but i still see the team drafting a DE or another CB here.
In the last three rounds, I see drafting for depth and I really don't think anyone can predict what Gene is thinking. Below are my two preferred drafts with a trade down.
1st- Rahim Moore
2nd- Ras-I Dowling
late 2nd/3rd- Andy Dalton
4th- Nate Irving
4th- defense/ Greg Romeus
5th-7th- more defensive depth
1st- Aldon Smith
2nd- Robert Sands
2nd/3rd- Andy Dalton
3rd- Dowling if he drops or Moffit
Either way, in this draft there is a large amount of defensive talent, especially at CB and safety and i think we need to take advantage. This draft will be so exciting and Gene Smith has the chance to really make a name for himself around the league. Last year, he scared the hell out of everyone with some of his picks, but eventually gave us hope after we got to meet and watch our new Jaguars. This year, our city has the chance to finally see a team come together and have the potential to truly win a Super Bowl. Hopefully, Gene makes the picks he believes can really bring the team to a new level and he shouldn't listen to anyone outside of his scouts. All of these mocks are to help us as fans learn more about the players in this draft and help hold us off for the next three months. Let me know what you think about the mock. I know the trade down is unlikely, but let me know your opinions.