With an end to the lockout seemingly just around the bend, the time has come to take a look at this years draft picks. The Jaguars had five picks in the 2011 draft, each of whom I will discuss in this series. Rookie prognostications will include a look at the position(s) the player plays, his skill set, and his competition for playing time. I'll predict several key statistics and include a primary position as well. Any sort of prognostication is only one person's best guess and cannot factor in injuries and free agents who have not been signed yet.
With that said, today's target is Chris Prosinski, a safety out of the University of Wyoming.
Prosinski was a shocking pick to say the least. He wasn't invited to the combine, and was expected by most people to go undrafted. Instead, the Jaguars selected him with the 24th pick in the fourth round. The selection was made based on Prosinski's excellent statistical performance (100+ tackles in two consecutive seasons) and his incredible Pro day workout. Prosinski ran a sub-4.4 forty time, but even that accomplishment paled in comparison to his incredible jumping skills. He is officially listed as having a 39.5 inch vertical and an 11'2" long jump. Wow. Just wow.
If you haven't already watched it, there's video on youtube of Prosinski's workout. It's pretty incredible. He's smooth in his backpedal, accelerates very quickly, and is just flat out explosive. A lot of people have been wowed by Prosinski's performance, including the Madden '12 game programmer who just couldn't hold back in talking about Prosinski's physical attributes.
The Jaguars are depleted at safety. If they don't pay for a free agent safety, the Jags have Courtney Greene (whom many, including myself, like) and a steaming pile of Don Carey (a natural corner), some Michael Hamlin guy, Tyron Brackenridge and (I shudder to say the name) Sean Considine. I think Prosinski's youth and rare physical skill set would place him clearly in one of the starting safety roles as it stands now. Barring a complete inability to understand written English and follow instructions, Prosinski should earn a starting role during training camp or the preseason.
His statistical performance will depend greatly on whether the Jaguars go out and get a big name free agent at the safety position. If they do, Prosinski will be a rotational player in his first year. If they don't, the sky is the limit for him. Safety is a position that usually translates well to the NFL game. Need an example? Look no further than Jairus Byrd, who led the NFL in interceptions his rookie year with 9. Those who know their Jaguars know that even much-maligned former Jaguar Reggie Nelson had a great rookie year. In the end, the statistics depend on whether I think the Jaguars will get another safety or not. Just for funzies, I'm going to assume the Jaguars don't add anyone. If the team does sign a big-name safety, Prosinski will likely end up with 20-25 tackles and a few deflections as a part-time player.
Predicted 2011 stats (no FA pickup):
Pass deflections: 7-8
Tomorrow's subject will be WR Cecil Shorts III from Mount Union, the 16th pick in the 4th round (#114 overall).