Recently in a sit down video interview on Jaguars.com, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith indicated they have some "maneuverability" in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. What he meant exactly by this isn't really known, as the Jaguars haven't necessarily been movers and shakers in the past two drafts under Gene Smith. It could mean the Jaguars are looking to trade down, similar to one of the scenarios I wrote about previously. Or does it mean they are looking to trade up?
As far as Gene Smith trading down in the draft, I can only recall him doing it one time and it was so insignificant I didn't even realize it had occured. In the 2010 NFL Draft, he traded a 5th round pick to the New Orleans Saints for a 2011 4th round pick. In the 2009 NFL Draft, Gene Smith send a 2010 2nd round pick to move back up into the 3rd round to draft cornerback Derek Cox. While it's often attributed to Gene Smith he'd prefer to move down in the draft, he declined to do so in the 2010 NFL Draft, according to the San Francisco 49ers. The Jaguars were offered a 5th round pick to slide to the 13th pick, but declined and went ahead and drafted defensive tackle Tyson Alualu.
This year, many Jaguars fans want the Jaguars to select a defensive end from the deep crop. There's also a large contingent of Jaguars fans who want the Jaguars to go ahead and select their quarterback of the future in the first round. I've been an advocate of taking your quarterback at 16 if you've done your work on him and believe he's the guy, go ahead and take him.
However, I've maintained for a while that I think the Jacksonville Jaguars play in the 2011 NFL Draft will be to take the best available player at 16, likely a defensive end or an offensive lineman, and then move back up into the first round to take their quarterback. In maneuvering back up, the Jaguars would either have to leap in front of the Seattle Seahawks or in front of the Buffalo Bills in the second round, if they pass on a quarterback at 3.
You could end up with say, Aldon Smith and Christian Ponder. Or maybe Cameron Jordan and Colin Kaepernick. Maybe even Ryan Kerrigan and Andy Dalton, for the "Gene Smith guy" crowd, at the expense of what is likely a mid-first round pick in 2012.
If the former is the scenario, should the Jaguars dangle their 2012 first round pick as the offer, and keep their second round pick? Or should the Jaguars give up picks in the current draft to get their guy?