One of the things I dislike about the corporate world is the fear of expressing an opinion some people feel. They wait until a consensus is formed and then jump on the bandwagon. This doesn't do anyone any real good. Opinions are the basis of our American culture and something our founders cherished greatly. The exchange of ideas was considered a valuable way to move forward into the future. It does carry risk; you risk being thought less of or worse, dismissed.
Welcome to BCC, a place where ideas are exchanged freely. This is what drives the knowledge of our reader base to the point of high level understanding. We here know what is happening to our team. A lot of credit goes to Chris for fostering this atmosphere. With that preamble, I offer my own opinions. Most are probably wrong, but sometimes, as the saying goes, even a blind pig finds an acorn. So here goes.
I really like Quentin Groves. When he came to the first rookie camp, he left saying he needed to learn technique and off he went to study. During the games I was at, he tried to fire up the crowd. He was a rookie not having a great opening season, but he still worked it, on special teams and during the games. This year he will show up a reportedly 20 pounds heftier, ready to play. I like that. Quentin Groves should get a warm welcome at training camp by us fans and encourage him. I am ready to predict a strong Quentin Groves season.
If we select a quarterback and it is Mark Sanchez, I am excited. Quarterbacks go down in this league and a strong ready to play younger guy is what I would love to see. I know we have Cleo Lemon but I think with Cleo my hands will hit my head yelling"He was wide open!" Mark Sanchez wants to be a great quarterback and if he is on our team, I think he will be great. I'll be excited when he comes into a game.
Having said that, I still think a strong left tackle is the right choice. One of the privileges of selecting high in the draft is gaining a 15 year guy anchoring the left side. Highly drafted left tackles have a great track record of being with the team for a long time. The stat I saw was over 90% of them become starters for the team a majority of the time over a five year period. It is a safe choice and one you get to make when selecting in the top ten. Despite his recent behavior, I am sold on Andre Smith and would be very happy to see him with us.
Torry Holt is exciting because he makes a defense watch him. He isn't the receiver of a few years ago, but he is still dangerous. A defensive coordinator must account for him and that means someone else is open. If he doesn't come, fine. I do think if he does, he will show up in shape and ready to play. His presence helps the character of the team.
I know David is our quarterback but I still have misgivings about him. I do think he picks his target before the snap and can be bluffed by a good defense. I watched the Colts do this to him and I think other teams can pick up on it. He also struggles with the long ball. He is a schooled quarterback but not instinctive. One thing for sure, he is tough and can carry the team at times. Is he in the top five in the AFC? Sorry, but no. He is not our weak link, but we will need a new QB in three years. Time to develop a younger guy, in fact now is the right time.
Do we need to draft a Wide Receiver? Yes, but not in the first round. I don't see anyone I trust coming out this year as a first round candidate. There are good receivers in this draft and I expect to see a third round selection.
What the draft does have is plenty of good offensive linemen. If I were picking for the Jaguars, I would build the lines. This is a good year to do it. I remember Mark Rypien with the Redskins behind the Hogs. He looked fantastic, but had the protection. Decent quarterbacks look very good behind a good line.
I like the feel of this year. The player issues are becoming a thing of the past. The Jaguars, in my opinion, have been a good team that had a propensity to do stupid things. Too many games in 2006 and 2007 were close for no reason. The 2006 season had the Bills beating us, the Redskins beating us, the Texans and the Titans beating us for stupid reasons. That was a great team that showed nothing for it. One thing the Jaguars didn't draft was intelligence. The quality of players starting to come now is beginning to impress me. I think we will show up to play this year. God I hope I'm not becoming a homer.
In closing, let me say again, BCC is a safe place to express it. Bring your opinion, they are welcome here. Save the vitriol for the Colts, I am guessing opening day we will see them.