I realize many of you have heard enough, but I wanted to give one last effort to vindicate Gene for this pick. I am going to try to lay out what I think was going on in Gene's head when he made the Anger pick. By no way is this going to be a quote from Gene or based off of inside information, but it is going to be based off of Gene's overall draft philosophy and what I have heard in regards to the draft and the quality of players in it. I will be using arbitrary names with the exception of Anger. I would also like to ask for your forgiveness. I am terrible writer unless I take entirely too much time drafting, editing, and rewriting my work.
How I Came Up With This:
I will start by listing what I am basing this theory off of:
- I have heard from several sources (including our beloved Vic Ketchman during his live blog), that the draft had a steep talent drop off at the end of round 2.
- I have also heard from several sources, including Gene, that the draft was deep with talent through round 4 and into round 5
- This would lead me to believe that the talent drop off was significant, but ended somewhere in the bottom of round 3
- Gene has said multiple times he believes in getting players who have the ability to start early in their careers in the third round
- Gene believes strongly in drafting the BAP (or a player from the top grade range), which I don't believe anyone doubts
- Gene implied there were players selected ahead of the Jaguars that he would have taken over Anger
- Gene also implied there were no players available who he believed could come in and be a starter
I am going to fast forward to pick number 60. Gene has a few players left on his board in the 70-72 grade range, but does not anticipate them to be available when the Jaguars go on the clock. The next highest player on his board is sitting with a grade of 65, which normally fits around the bottom of the third round. He gets Terry to try to find someone to trade down 15 slots or so, but cannot find a partner willing to give him decent value.
Realizing he is going to have to suck it up he takes a look at the players in the 64-66 grade range. He has 4 players in that grade range. Right Tackle, Weak Backer, Decent Cornerback, and Bryan Anger.
Right Tackle is a solid player, but does not have the athletic ability or polish to beat out Britton, who he expects to be healthy going into camp this year. Right Tackle most likely will compete with Guy Whimper to be the backup RT, but is not significantly better than the young depth Gene has assembled at the position. Should only see playing time in his first 3 seasons if Britton is injured. Weak Backer is OK, but LB is deep and Gene thinks he should be able to get a player in the 58-60 range later in the draft, and that is fine for a developmental backup linebacker. Decent Cornerback would have a very tough time competing for a spot with the addition of Ross, Mathis and Cox apparently coming into camp healthy, Middleton having a strong year last year, and Rod Issac still being a young player they like a lot. Decent Cornerback easily could not play at all his rookie year, and be only a situational player in his second and third years.
Gene thinks Anger on the other hand will come in immediately in start. Not only that, Punter is a position of need and Anger has the talent to be a Pro-Bowl Punter early in his career. Gene also believes Anger is a very safe projection and should play at a very high level for 10 years or longer.
Given his lack of options, he picks Anger.
What many of you think, and why it's crazy:
It appears many of you believe Gene was sitting there on the clock with several players available to him that could be starters by their second year, but had Anger graded at the top of the third round and picked him because they were terrible at punting last year. This just seems outrageous to me. If Gene stated he wanted to pick a starter over a backup, wouldn't it make sense he would want to pick a FULL TIME starter over a PART TIME starter? People want to throw out names that they would take over Anger, but think about it. If Gene graded that player to be as good as you think he is, someone who can come in and contribute his first year and/or be a second year starter, don't you think he would have selected that player? To say he would not have does not match up with the types of players he has drafted in the third round in the past and what he has said about drafting in the third round in the past.
If you then disagree with the pick, you are in turn disagreeing with his grade on that player, which is disagreeing with the people that get paid to scout football players. If you honestly feel like you are a better scout than Gene and his staff, and you honestly think he missed out on a player who could come in and start early in his career, than I understand your frustration. If you believe in taking a long term developmental player that won't start for 3-4 years over one of the best Punters to come out in recent memory, than I also understand your frustration. If you believe Gene had players he felt could be starters early in their career and passed up on them because Bryan Anger is just that good, I don't understand it in the slightest.
I leave you with a poll because I am curious as to how many people are ok with the pick and how many people hate it.