The Jacksonville Jaguars should not draft Laremy Tunsil. Like my other articles of this nature on DeForest Buckner, Vernon Hargreaves, and Reggie Ragland, this post is not meant to take away from Tunsil as a player. He is a surefire elite offensive line prospect and there is no point in even attempting to center an argument around anything that says otherwise.
Instead this is meant to explain why Laremy Tunsil does not make sense for the Jaguars specifically. Yes, this really has to be talked about. I don't like it either.
There is no other article you will read from me that better represents what the end of draft season has become. Move the draft up a month. Or cancel it altogether.
The entire Tunsil-to-the-Jaguars discussion has started to pick up steam ever since the Titans traded away the first overall pick in the draft. If they stayed pat, it was a near lock for Tunsil to be the first player selected. But now that the scenario where Tunsil is drafted by the Tennessee Titans is now gone, people are scrambling to find where to place Tunsil in the top-five.
And it is a struggle to slot him somewhere. He is an elite talent so you can't drop him that far, but where does he make the most sense? The Cleveland Browns are unlikely to pick him unless they trade Joe Thomas, if they even keep the No. 2 overall pick instead of trading it. The San Diego Chargers make sense as a landing spot but their general manager has done nothing but preach about getting help on defense. And the Dallas Cowboys... are the Dallas Cowboys.
In a draft that is devoid of elite talent, should one of the few elite talents like Tunsil fall? Most people would say no. And that is what is breeding the very, very off base claims that Tunsil makes sense for the Jaguars. Claims made by those such as NFL Network analyst Charles Davis and NFL.com writer Lance Zierlein.
The issue isn't that Tunsil isn't a player that should go in the top-five. It isn't even the fact that there is competition at left tackle. Tunsil is so very clearly a better talent than both Luke Joeckel and Kelvin Beachum. The issue is that the logic of the Zierlein's and the Davis' goes like this.
I can't even begin to fathom how Jags fans are upset about me mocking the best player in this year's draft to them. What was your record?— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 14, 2016
"What was your record?" Someone hold me. I can't.
At the end of the day, the issue with slotting Tunsil to the Jaguars isn't an issue of Tunsil vs, Joeckel but an issue of resource management. Slot Tunsil into left tackle for the 2015 Jaguars and how many more games do they win? And be honest.
The only games I can really think that the performance by the left tackle was directly tied to a game that could have ended in a loss was against the Baltimore Ravens and in the season finale against the Texans. I think Joeckel is better than most give him credit for, but he was awful in both games. But the issue is...
1. They still won the Ravens game, and...
2. A better left tackle does not win them the Texans game. The defense and Zane Beadles were both terrible that game.
As far as the "what was your record?" argument, you can go ahead and place it right in the trash and then proceed to set said trash can on fire.
Now let's use the same "how many more games do the Jaguars win with Player X?" argument for some other players.
Myles Jack? They have an undrafted free agent playing middle linebacker against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or have Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny fail to cover Colby Fleener. They win more games.
Jalen Ramsey? Dwayne Gratz or Sergio Brown see the field less and they don't have catastrophic performances against the New Orleans Saints and others. They win more games.
Joey Bosa? This one isn't really in need of an explanation. They win more games.
At the end of the day, Tunsil is an elite prospect. But he does not make the team better in 2016 or forward than any of those players do. Their impacts on the team and its prospects are simply greater. And that is all it should come down to.
Or they could pick Tunsil and have Chris Smith and Paul Posluszny play on third downs next season. In that case, we can probably make a good bet to send out some more "what was your record?" tweets this time next year.