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Free Agent Speculation: Cornerback Drayton Florence

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CB Drayton Florence possible Jaguars signing?

It's not free agency if you're not taking throwaway one-liners from other newspapers sports sections and trying to figure out of the team might be seriously interested in a guy.

In this case, the Washington Post reports:

As for other news, and for those of you watching the dwindling DT market: Jacksonville likely looking for a deal similar to the Kris Jenkins deal for Marcus Stroud (two picks). The Jags are also talking to Drayton Florence, who drew heavy interest from Detroit as well

Let's address those two points.  First off, if the Jaguars get two draft picks (say a 3rd and a 6th) AND dump Marcus Stroud's 5 million dollar salary this season, we're winners all around.  We should thank Kris Jenkins and all the other defensive tackles that have boosted the percieved value in a  guy like Stroud.  I expect to see a deal done with Buffalo in the next 24 hours.

Now, on Drayton Florence.  He's the PERFECT nickel corner for a team like Jacksonville who has to play a lot of nickel.  Yeah, he needs polishing, but he's quick, and when he is in the right position, he can make a break on the ball.  Again, he's not going to be a starter, but when we play teams (Indinapolis) who hurt us with three or more receivers, he gives us a solid option at nickel corner.  

Oh yeah, he went to High School in Ocala and has family in Jacksonville.  

His Scouting Report:

Florence has a very impressive combination of size and athletic ability, but he comes from a very small college and hasn't adapted quickly to the NFL game. He is tall with long arms and a good build for corner. He has good straight line speed, with decent quickness and the ability to plant and drive on the ball with some explosiveness. His hips are not real loose, but he is fluid and smooth. He can be too high in his pedal and isn't always in great football position. Florence's recognition skills have improved, but still need a lot of work and he can look overwhelmed by the speed of the game at times. He can be too aggressive and takes too many risks. Quicker NFL receivers give him a hard time and his lateral agility is questionable. He has questionable hands and drops too many balls that he should catch. Florence is a decent run player who can help on special teams, but still has work to do until he can be considered a quality starting cornerback. Antonio Cromartie may very well take Florence's starting spot in 2007.

We also learn something else if the Jaguars make this signing.  We learn that the early rounds of the draft will be entirely made of "Big Guys" Defensive Ends and Tackles, Offensive Guards and Tackles.  The Trench Fighters!  And it's a good draft for that, if nothing else.

Just remember, I'm batting pretty poorly on Free Agent predictions, but this is someone to think about!

-Chris