JDR Era Draft Analysis and Its Impact

It may be in the middle of the season but I’ve decided to go back and do a comprehensive analysis of our draft history as I think it has had an impact on our team’s current state. I went through each draft year since Jack Del Rio took over as head coach and grouped players from each draft class as either “Hits” or successful picks or “Misses”. Now obviously when you are doing this kind of analysis you need to take certain aspects in to consideration.

First off, I excluded the 2011 draft as these players are only 6 games into their rookie seasons. Second, I gave a little more leeway for success potential to the 2009 and 2010 draft classes as they are still early in their careers but you can read my analysis below on certain players. Finally I also had to take into consideration in which round each player was drafted, as that effects whether you would consider them a success. If two players are both career back-ups but one was drafted in the 1st round and another the 7th , obviously the 1st rounder would be a bust and the 7th rounder would be a success. See below for more details on that aspect.

The overall results are surprising as it the Jaguars drafting has had its fair share of successes as well as failures but its consistency from year to year that seems to be absent.

How I Determined Whether a Pick was a Hit or Miss:

1st and 2nd Round Picks: Have to have become a starter for a number of years and excelled at their position. (i.e. Derrick Harvey and Byron Leftwich started for a few years but did not excel at their position)

3rd and 4th Round Picks: Have to have become a quality starter or a back-up that significantly contributed.

5th and 6th Round Picks: Have to have at least stayed with the team for a few years and been a quality back-up.

7th Round Picks: Need only to have made the team for a few years.

Based on my descriptions you can tell that the distinction between hit and miss is very subjective. I understand that other people might have different views then me and feel free to tell me I am wrong in the comments. If everyone says I am wrong then I would be more than willing to admit I made a mistake and change a distinction.

Draft Year

Hits /Successful Picks (Round Picked)

Misses/Busts (Round Picked)

Success %


R. Mathis (2), V. Manuwai(3), George Wrighster (4)

B. Leftwich(1), L.Toefield (4), B. Green(6), D. Young(6), M. Ogden(6), M. MacKenzie(7)

.333 %


D. Smith(2), G. Jones(2), E. Wilford(4), J. Scobee(5), B. McCray(7)

R. Williams (1), J. Cordova(3), A. Maddox(4), C. Thompson(5), S. Bubin(5)

.500 %


G. Sensabaugh(5)

M. Jones(1), K. Barnes(2), S. Starks(3), A. Pearman(4), C. Owens(6), P. Thomas (6), C. Roberson(7)

.125 %


M. Lewis (1), M. Jones-Drew (2), C. Ingram(3), J. Wyche (7)

B. Hawkins (5), D. Webb(7)

.666 %


J. Durant (2), M. Sims-Walker (3), A. Podlesh (4), U. Nwaneri (5), D. Landri (5), C. Nkang (7)

R. Nelson (1), B. Smith (4), J. Gattis (5), J. Broussard (7), A. Carnahan (7)

.545 %



D. Harvey (1), Q. Groves (2), T. Williams (3), Tr. Williams (5), C. Washington (7)

.000 %


E. Monroe (1), T. Knighton (3), D. Cox (3), M. Thomas (4), R. Jennings (7)

E. Britton (2), J. Dillard (5), Z. Miller (6), T. Underwood (7)

.555 %


T. Alualu(1), D. Karim (6)

D. Smith (3), L. Hart (5), A. Lane (5), S. McGee (6)

.333 %


Comments (As I Know People are going to attack some of my choices):

K. Barnes: Produced his rookie season but was underwhelming in his next few seasons. Good in run blocking, terrible in pass blocking. Due to his 4 year stint and poor pass blocking, he is a miss in my opinion.

S. Starks: He is a career back-up. I debated whether to put him as a hit simply because he was with the Jaguars for a number of seasons as a back-up, but in the end I don’t think he contributed enough to be considered a hit.

J. Wyche: I considered him a hit because he met my qualifications of making the team for a number of years since he was only a 7th rounder.

C. Nkang: May only have been with the team for 2 seasons but was excelled as a special teamer and since he was only a 7th round pick I considered him a hit.

E. Monroe/E.Britton: I’m giving Monroe the benefit of the doubt here. Its his 3rd season (took Lewis many seasons to become Pro Bowler) and he has flashed great talent at times, though has been pretty awful in certain games as well. He is a hit, for now. Britton is in a very similar boat but Britton has missed more time due to injuries, so he is a miss for now.

D. Cox: Minus the injury this season (and a short benching last season). He has been decently effective as a starter and considering he was a 3rd round pick I will give him the benefit of the doubt as I did Monroe.

J. Dillard/Z. Miller: Both are still with the team but their injury prone three seasons have kept them a miss for now.

A. Lane: Lane is still with the team and has been decent depth but is done for the year this year and has not been able to contribute much on the field when he has played. He is misses for now.

(Update) Undrafted FA During JDR Era: 17 UFAs have made the Jaguars opening day roster between 2003 and 2010. I did not include them in my original statistics because they are basically free agent pick ups even though they are technically rookies. It is however unfair to leave them out of the discussion. Of these 17 there are have been many that have been important to our team. The most notable would be Montell Owens in 2006 who has become a Pro Bowl special teamer. Also in 2006 Richard Collier deserves recognition as a great pick-up though obviously tragic conditions changed things. In 2009 Russell Allen was able to make the roster and garner playing time and praise right away. In 2010 Kevin Haslam and Kyle Bosworth made the roster and are still with the team again this year though Haslam is out for the season. Overall the UDFA signings are an important aspect that should not be overlooked as it can lead to some great finds. Thought I did not include them in my statistics or analysis I wanted to make sure these players got mentioned because they have become an important part of the Jaguars teams. (Thanks ScottyD4Life)

Analysis By The Numbers:

Total Hits : 26

Total Misses: 38

Total  Hit Percentage: .406 %

1st  Round Hit Percentage: .375 %

2nd Round Hit Percentage: .571 %

3rd Round Hit Percentage: .500 %

Pro-Bowlers drafted: 3 out of 64 draft picks

Analysis: Most of this information we already know. We know that picks like Reggie Williams and Derrick "Ninja" Harvey were busts. I think the most telling fact that I found in doing this analysis is that the Jaguars seem to be a very boom or bust team when it comes to the draft. If you look at the percentages, we have 4 years of over .500 % draft pick hits which I think is where we need to start being every year. The problem is that we have years (2003, 2005, 2008) where we just miss on a majority of our picks. These years basically set us back as a team. When you miss so badly in certain drafts it ends up being a wasted draft year and it’s hard to improve as a team when the young guys you drafted simply just don’t produce like you thought they would.   Another very telling aspect is that we have drafted 64 players between 2003 and 2010, only 3 have become Pro Bowlers. Now obviously it doesn’t take a team of Pro Bowlers to make a team successful, but it sure helps and I think it shows that the Jaguars either are completely missing on their draft choices or are playing it "safe" when it comes to picking players. I would be interested to do this analysis for a team like the Steelers or the Patriots because I feel like there would be more continuity in their success in drafting. Obviously it is hard to predict aspects like injuries but we need to improve our consistency in drafting or our team will not improve. This lack of consistency has culminated in the 1 - 5 start the Jaguars have had this season. Gene Smith came in and attempted to revamp the team from scratch in many areas leading to the ousting of many veterans and an influx of youth at key positions. As much as many stand by the motto "In Gene We Trust" even Gene has already fallen victom to lack of consistency. His first draft in 2009 was about .500 % success percentage but depending on your opinion that could be slightly higher or lower. 2010 however seems to already be heading towards the range of a very poor year. Unless Hart and Lane turn things around quickly, you are looking at only 2 successful picks from that draft (Alualu and Karim) and one will probably be a career special teamer and back-up. Overall we need to start drafting better, our current team is being carried mostly by FA pick-ups on defense and the remaining Shack Harris picks that panned out. Not to plug my own opinion but in the last 8 drafts we have had different coordinators, scouts and GMs but only one aspect has remained the same through all of these many failed drafts...Jack Del Rio. Just food for thought.

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