Our favorite Jaguars.com writer, Vic Ketchman, was recently on Jaguars' This Week and speculated that the best available player when the Jaguars select at 26 may be a cornerback. He's clearly a little more optimistic than I am because I'm very much concerned that the BAP will be a running back or linebacker, two positions that are less than critical for the Jaguars in the first round.
I though it might be interesting to examine where exactly the "experts" predict the top five (or so) cornerbacks will end up. My methodology is not 100% sound because I don't really account for standard deviation other than by removing outliers, but unless my Political Analysis professor drops by, it shouldn't be a problem. What I did, in essence, was take about thirty mock drafts, 10 of which were "experts", the other twenty chosen at random. I removed the highest and lowest outliers and averaged the rest.
Now, I know you're saying to yourself "these are Mock Drafts, what does this have to do with anything?". And I would completely agree, for the most part. These are merely experiments, but as we get closer and closer to the draft the overall ranking of players comes to a semi-consensus, and it isn't hard to project. Would I bet my reputation (if I have one) that these players will go at these spots? In a word, NO. But it's something to consider as we ponder who we're left to choose from in the first round.
- Leodis McKelvin, Troy: With very few exceptions (Dominique Rogers-Cromarte) McKelvin is the first cornerback off the board. Average draft spot is 9th overall, very tight though between 8 and 10th. I'm going out on a limb and assuming that he will not be available at pick 26.
- Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, Tenn St: D.R.C, as I'm going to call him, is the clear cut number two cornerback in this analysis. Only once does he get selected ahead of McKelvin, and even leaving that in as an outlier keeps his average about 12.5. He's very close to McKelvin, but consistantly the second corner chosen, even going back to back in some drafts.
- Mike Jenkins, University of South Florida: We've got a bit of a gap here, Jenkins goes at the 19th pick and stays in a very narrow range of 18-22. I like Mike, were he to be the clear BAP at 26, I'd be ok with taking him.
- Aqib Talib, Kansas: This is trouble spot in the analysis because it's hard to tell if the recent news about a problem with marijuana. It might not of effected the mocks enough yet to show anything conclusive, but it's something worth keeping in mind. He's just behind Mike Jenkins at 21.5, though I'd expect that to fall a bit over the next two weeks. Then again, Calvin Johnson, Gaines Adams and Amobi Okoye all admitted to smoking marijuana and they've done all right. While I'm disgusted that NFL scouts are releasing what they are told in interviews, I understand that Talib is a little bit more of a character risk for the the Jaguars. If it means anything, Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino says he's been a "role-model" player for the last two seasons.
- Antoine Cason, Arizona: My good friend Brian from Buffalo Rumblings absoultely LOVES this guy. He thinks he could go to the Bills at the 11 spot. My analysis has him more at about 24, though his deviation is a bit larger (from 6 to 30)
- Justin King, Penn State: This is a guy that Vic mentioned by name and that he rates higher than D.R.C. on his value board. Unfortunatly, he only appeared in a few mock drafts in the first round, somewhere between 28 and 30, so I can't really include him in this breakdown. Though, if there was a choice between Talib and King, I'd go with the standout character at Penn State over someone who might miss time from drug related suspensions. A bit skittish about hard tackling though. He's a second round prospect, in my opinion, that would be a blessing at 58 and a massive reach at 26.
Based on this data it seems clear that it will by pick 20 it will look like the Jaguars could end up with a cornerback as the BAP, though it's not likely that 6 picks later any will remain on the board. Mike Jenkins, Aqib Talib, and Antoine Cason could all be there between 18 and 24, but if any make it to the Jaguars it'll be Aqib Talib, and the drug issue might make him keep on going past us. While I trust Vic's judgement about things involving best player available, and while there are a bunch of first round graded cornerbacks, I don't think the Jaguars will have the problem of a BAP corner.