If LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is on the draft board when the Jaguars select at pick seven, it's hard to argue against Gene Smith and co. making the selection. Claiborne is widely considered to be the top defensive back in the draft and with a 31-year old Rashean Mathis recovering from an ACL tear, a starter waiting in the wings makes plenty of sense.
But is it worth spending a mid-round or late-round selection on a cornerback that might not be able to make the roster?
In a recent post here on BCC I highlighted Albion CB Chris Greenwood who has a scheduled workout with the Jaguars on April 10. If the Jaguars were to draft a player like Greenwood though, would it be a waste of a pick?
The Jaguars have several cornerbacks on the roster right now and it's not too difficult to make the argument that it is the deepest position on the roster. With the new signing of Aaron Ross from the Giants, the Jaguars now have Mathis, Ross, Derek Cox, Drew Coleman, William Middleton, Kevin Rutland, T.J. Heath, Ashton Youboty and Morgan Trent all on their roster.
The most likely scenario is that the Jaguars will only keep five or six of these players. While it seems like Mathis, Ross and Cox have guaranteed roster spots, it's going to be very difficult for any mid-round or late-round rookie to beat out the likes of Coleman, Middleton, Rutland and/or Heath for a spot.
Can it be done? Absolutely. But it's probably a better idea if the Jaguars allocate their few draft picks on positions that are much more of a weakness on the roster than defensive back.
The best available player strategy is certainly one I agree with, but it's not one that I'm entirely convinced Gene Smith subscribes to. While he says he does, the way he has defined BAP combined with his convenient drafts that address all the Jaguars greatest needs make me believe otherwise.
Besides, it seems foolish to take the best available player if that player plays a position that is already very strong on the roster and you don't believe that player can make the roster.
I doubt the Jaguars are done acquiring cornerbacks this offseason, but I hope that the Jaguars don't spend one of their late-round flyer selections on a player that they will not be able to make the roster.