[EDIT]Now, I'm going to be traveling all day today. With the switch to the new platform, I can schedule my posts, allowing me a great deal of flexibility. Whereas on previous "travel days", you'd suffer from a lack of content, today you get fresh stuff!
How cool is that?
To start our "draft eve" coverage, let's look back to the 2005 draft and see what sort of treasure and fools gold we found.[/EDIT]
There's a rule among the "NFL Elite" that it's a poor decision to grade a draft class until three seasons have passed. In today's "instant history" world, that's impossible as Mel Kiper and the rest of the ESPN Stooges will grade the draft almost as quickly as the pick is made. That's just the demand of the 24 hour sports news cycle playing out in yet another absurd fashion. I understand it, we all want to know that our teams did well, and because of that our media overlords give us what we want.
Before we get into the grading the 2005 draft according to the three year rule, I'd like to share some interesting statistics about the Jacksonville Jaguars and their success in the NFL Draft.
- The Jaguars have 15 players from their 2003-2005 draft classes on their roster, tied for second in the league with the Bengals and Titans.
- Jacksonville had 44 picks in the draft over the last 5 seasons, that's 4th in the league.
- 28 Jaguars were drafted in between 2003 and 2007, that's the most in the league.
- The Jaguars have drafted 12 starters in those five years.
- There are 11 undrafted free-agents on roster, the most in the league.
The moral of the story? Don't let anyone tell you the Jaguars don't know how to draft. They get a little frisky in the first round, but they know how to find talent deep in the draft. It's also why undrafted free-agents like to sign with us, cause they know they have a legitimate chance at becoming a starter.
In the 2005 Draft the Jacksonville Jaguars selected:
Matt Jones, WR (1/21): Is he a total bust? Is he on the cusp of getting his act together? I have no idea. Matt Jones goes from benched to highlight reel catch almost as quickly as I change my mind on keeping or trading Jones for an extra draft pick. Matt Jones seems to be ripe for a draft day trade for a 5th and 7th round pick, especially considering that Troy Williamson merited a 6th round pick. At least Matt Jones has caught a few balls and scored once or twice. But it's that occasional flash of potential that just kills me. Matt does just enough to get by and causes just enough drama to make me loathe him. Even when he catches the ball I get upset because it's usually with one hand. Seriously, I wish we could cut our losses, get a couple of late round draft picks, and move on. Of course, that will nearly assure that he gets his head together and has a Hall of Fame career...
Khalif Barnes, OT (2/52) : ESPN has us taking Barnes in the first round of their 2005 re-draft. While Khalif Barnes did save us from having a complete flop of a draft by falling to us in the second round, knowing what we now know, there's no way we take him first overall. This is a guy that's rumored to be on the trade block as we head into the draft and it's a guy who doesn't have the best history with Jack Del Rio and the City of Jacksonville. He's been a good enough left tackle, but he's not particularly endeared by the team right now.
Scott Starks, CB (3/87): Solid special teamer and occasional nickel back, perhaps a jar on the shelf waiting to develop into something more. I like him as a player and his team role, but he's not been spectacular either. I'd assume that he's a free agent next year, so hopefully he plays like there's a fat paycheck waiting for him. For a third round pick, not too shabby. Unfortunatly, he's got two expensive free agents and one pro-bowler in front of him on the depth chart. Only a position move by Brian Williams will have Starks on the field in anything other than the dime package.
Alvin Pearman, RB (4/127): Alvin never really got a chance to do much for the Jaguars so getting a 5th round for him might be his biggest contribution to the team.
Gerald Sensabaugh, S (5/157): Here's the real gem of the class. If Sensabaugh excels as the starter at strong safety this season, he'll be a steal. (like the alliteration?) We're talking about a guy who played with a torn labrum last season before tearing the other one. He's tough, he's got a nose for the ball, and we're talking about getting a starter out of the 5th round. When your first round is a near-bust, getting starters out of the late rounds is key. Del Rio's administration does a fantastic job identifying and grabbing late round talent.
Chad Owens, WR, (6,185): So much potential, so little performance. Chad Owens had very possible chance to be a contributor on the Jaguars. Unfortunatly, his inability to do anything on special teams and tendency to shut down and make mistakes when returning is killing his career. Seriousy, he signed up to play for the All-American Football League, the league that is bound to fold before even playing a game. Chad has gifts at wide receiver but nobody will get past the muffed punts and kickoffs. I'm told he can do it in practice like it's nothing, but once he gets in a game he shuts down and makes terrible mistakes. A very disappointing bust.
Pat Thomas, LB, (6/194): Waived in October of 2007, now plays for the Chiefs. Spent 2006 season on Injured reserve with an injured hamstring. Never really broke through into the linebacker rotation, cut to make room for a backup quarterback after David Garrard was injured. Currently signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chris Roberson, CB (7/237): Spent 2006 on injured reserve, had potential, but the cornerback group is pretty tight. The Jaguars elected to not give him a restricted free agent tender, making him a free agent.
Khalif Barnes and Gerald Sensabaugh are the bright spots of an otherwise mediocre draft class. 6 of 8 are still in the NFL, two of the 8 are starters, and Matt Jones is the most confusing player I've ever covered. It's not great, and the Jaguars have certainly done better, but it's good enough I suppose. This class would have a different feel entirely had Khalif Barnes found himself selected. I remember back in 2005 when people said that we graded Barnes as a first round pick, getting him where we did was a steal.
So there you go, a look back at 2005. Your thoughts?