After the 2007 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars thought they were right on the cusp of being a perennial playoff team. David Garrard surprisingly became the starting quarterback and had a very nice season. The Jaguars defense was still good, but it was obvious there were some holes. The most glaring hole was on the defensive line at the defensive end position. Paul Spicer was getting long in the tooth, Bobby McCray left in free agency, and Reggie Hayward hadn't fully recovered from his Achilles injury (nor did he ever). In the 2008 NFL Draft, the Jaguars thought they were just a few pieces away from having one of the top defenses in the NFL again. They knew they needed a pass rush and that's what they were going to address.
In the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars moved up to the 8th overall selection to pick defensive end Derrick Harvey. To move up, the Jaguars sent away their 1st round pick, two 3rd round picks, and a 4th round pick to the Baltimore Ravens. Harvey was touted along with second round pick Quentin Groves as being the solution to the pass rush of the future. In Harvey's rookie year he played just OK. At the end of the season his play started to turn for the better and he ended the season having a monster game against the Baltimore Ravens. Harvey looked primed to bust out in 2009. The bust out, however never occurred. Some thought it was because of the Jaguars defensive scheme, moving Harvey from right end to outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment and also playing the 5-technique in the 3-4. Harvey also lined up at defensive tackle at times in the 4-3 alignment on passing downs. That's a lot to put on a second year player, so a lot of people thought that stunted his growth.
Entering the 2010 season, most everyone expected Harvey to break out with the Jaguars picking up veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman in free agency. Like 2009, that break out never occurred. The only thing that broke out was Derrick Harvey riding the pine towards the middle of the season. Harvey's status on the roster for the 2011 season is also up in the air. I personally have a hard time seeing the Jaguars cut loose a 24 year old defensive end only 3 seasons in, but I wouldn't be shocked by the move either. Unless Harvey suddenly nets a double-digit sack season in 2011, he's going to go down as one of the biggest draft busts in Jaguars history. He was drafted in the Top 10, and the Jaguars used 4 picks to draft him. That's a hefty investment for only 8 career sacks.
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