The 2013 NFL Draft is just now five days away which means we're closer to finding out who the Jacksonville Jaguars will be selecting at the No. 2 overall pick. We're going to go through some of the suspects who could be at the pick, touching on some of the favorites for the pick including a couple of surprises that could wind up having their name called on Thursday evening.
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Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon - Currently, Jordan is the leader in the clubhouse for the Jaguars. He's the most often mocked player to the Jaguars lately and would seem to be a good fit in the Jaguars hybrid style defense going forward. He can lineup at strong side linebacker on base downs, he can rush the passer from the edge, he can put his hand on the ground and play the LEO position and he can also drop into coverage. Not only does Jordan bring versatility to the Jaguars defense, but he also brings an injection of athleticism, length, and speed.
Standing at 6'6" and nearly 250 pounds, Jordan ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, which ranked him tied for the third fastest among defensive lineman. Jordan also scored highly in the other agility drills at the NFL Combine and looked smooth standing up and running linebacker drills, as most expected. Jordan has drawn comparisons to former Miami Dolphins great Jason Taylor as well as former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Julian Peterson. Jordan is comfortable playing in space, often covering tight ends and slot wide receivers.
Jordan is coming off shoulder surgery, as he played part of his final season at Oregon injured. He's also a former basketball player and tight end, so he has athleticism in spades and the frame to add more muscle without losing his speed or quickness if necessary.
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Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE, BYU - Ansah is the other defensive end that is believed to be high on the Jaguars draft board. Not many people are actually mocking him to the Jaguars just yet, but he's often mentioned as someone else the team could be interested in. Just like Jordan, Ansah is a versatile defensive lineman but more so on the defensive line than standing up. Ansah dominated at the Senior Bowl lining up at the "wide 9" position, which is essentially where the LEO plays on the Jaguars new defense. Ansah can also lineup at the five-technique position, or the left defensive end, and use his power to make plays and get in the backfield. Ansah has also shown the ability to rush from the interior and to stand up like a linebacker in 3-4 fronts and rush the passer.
Like Jordan, the 6'5" 271-pound Ansah is a fantastic athlete. Ansah ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds and showed out well in the other agility and speed tests as well. Ansah has drawn comparisons to players like Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, both of whom are bigger athletic defensive ends that get by on a lot more than just speed rushing off the edge.
The big risk with Ansah however is he's still new to football and it's still going to be a learning process for him. He's going to have to learn to play with leverage and to create his own space with his length to get off blockers when he's rushing the passer, but he already shows decent awareness at the position for someone so new to the game. Ansah at worst should also be a plus run defender early in his career.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - While many don't think the Jaguars will be looking for a quarterback early in the NFL Draft or that Geno Smith is even worth the second overall pick, he's still a possibility for the Jaguars. The team does not have a franchise quarterback on their roster, at least not one that's emerged, and there is an entirely new coaching staff and regime. When regime change comes, typically a new quarterback will come as well.
Smith is widely regarded as the top quarterback in the draft class, possessing all the physical tools that teams look for in a quarterback. Smith has a stronger than average arm, can make all of the necessary throws, and has the athleticism to pick up yards with his feet and run some of the new pistol and read-option concepts that the NFL has been using with some of the other younger quarterbacks.
Smith isn't expected to come in right away and push his team to the playoffs like that of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but he's considered someone who can be a Day 1 starter in the league.
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Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida - The Jaguars are most likely drafting a defensive lineman with the second overall pick and if they choose to go big rather than fast, someone like Floyd would seem to fit in the Jaguars hybrid defensive front. Floyd has played both strong side end and the defensive tackle position with the Florida Gators and in the NFL would likely play both the three-technique and the five-technique on the Jaguars defensive line.
At 6'3" and 293 pounds, Floyd is a "wide" athlete playing the defensive tackle position. When he is on his game he can give interior offensive lineman fits because of his quickness off the snap and ability to penetrate. Floyd has experience two-gapping, which is what he'd likely do if he played the five-technique at the NFL level, but he has some bad habits that will need to be worked out of his system. At times Floyd can turn his body, even doing a sort of spin move, which gets him washed out of plays while he's trying to rush the passer. If Floyd can focus on one position in the NFL however, he may wind up finding his groove and finally blossoming into a dominant interior player.
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Eric Fisher, OT, CMU - While personally do not believe the Jaguars will draft an offensive lineman with the second overall pick, there is enough talk and buzz about it that it has to be considered a possibility and not ruled out completely. Fisher is viewed as the top offensive tackle by some experts as we get closer and closer to the NFL Draft.
Fisher is a tall and long left tackle who many believe can play the right side without and issue because of his power. If the Jaguars were to select him second overall, it's likely he would end up playing right tackle rather than left because of Eugene Monroe. Fisher can get off balance at times and can struggle with smaller, quicker speed edge rushers but overall should be able to come in and start right away as a rookie.
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Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah - Finishing out the list of potential picks for the Jaguars is Lotulelei, who was a favorite pick in mock drafts for Jacksonville prior to the NFL Combine. Since the combine and Lotulelei's medical scare he's seemingly dropped out of the Top 5 in a lot of mock drafts because people just aren't sure about his medical concerns. If those are all clear for a team however, he should definitely be a Top 10 pick and arguably the first defensive tackle off the board.
The 6'2" 311 pound Lotulelei is a massive man to deal with in the middle of a defensive line and can realistically play three positions in the Jaguars front. He can lineup as the one-technique playing nose tackle, or move to the three-technique and is agile enough to even play the five-technique. Star is a power player who can disrupt plays in the backfield because of his quickness off the snap. There are some concerns about Lotulelei bringing it all game, but he player well over 90 percent of the snaps for Utah, which is abnormally high for a man of his size.