Another week of the endless journey that is the NFL offseason, another observations post about the Jacksonville Jaguars.
1. Allen Hurns and Telvin Smith deserve all the recognition and praise they get
I'll have another post that goes further into this, but for all of the bumps in the road during the Jaguars rebuild, for all of the flaws of the teams out onto the field the last three seasons, and for every quip we've had with the execution of said rebuild, Allen Hurns and Telvin Smith represent everything that has gone well.
Both players came into the league as the perfect Jaguars -- under the radar and lacking respect. Hurns, despite being a record breaker at Miami, a school with an illustrious wide receiver history that included Michael Irvin, Andre Johnson, and Reggie Wayne, went undrafted. There's a real chance the Jaguars might have not even have been interested in him if it wasn't for Jedd Fisch.
As for Smith, he entered the NFL undersized and heard knocks on his size at every turn. It was at the point where people were asking him if he would consider playing safety instead of linebacker. He's gone a long way in helping knock down the misguided standards and narratives around the linebacker position.
Congrats to both of these guys.
2. Keep your Bjoern Werner takes in the drafts
Don't act like this isn't anything more then a scrap heap signing. Don't act like going from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense will change the fact that a bad pass rusher is just a pass rusher.
I'd believe there were some redeeming qualities in Bjoern Werner if he didn't match Dante Fowler's NFL sack total last season. He's just not a good NFL player and a scheme change won't change that.
3. Major bullet dodged by Jaguars
One of my favorite things about the draft is when the draft is over and teams spill their dirty laundry. What players they liked. What players they wish they could've picked and why they were unable to. Not only is it interesting to look inside the thinking process of a team during the draft, but it makes for some good hindsight takes in terms of bullets dodged.
And in regards to Melvin Gordon, he is perhaps the greatest bullet dodged during the Dave Caldwell era.
Caldwell mentioned after the draft that, had Gordon slipped a few more picks, the team would have considered trading up for him.
Well not only is Gordon coming off maybe the worst rookie season for a running back statistically, but he underwent micro fracture surgery this offseason. That is not necessarily a death wish depending on the severity of the surgery but anytime you hear the words "micro fracture" you should cringe a bit.
In the case of Melvin Gordon, the jury is still out and he deserves more then one season to prove his worth. But as for now, it is one of the best picks Dave Caldwell never had the chance to make.
4. Read this
This is great work by Zak Keefer of the Indystar.
And it's important. The NFL has mishandled the concussion issue at every step and the public should know it.
5. Weekly follow suggestion
Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Optimum Scouting, one of the best draft organizations on Twitter. I can't say enough thinks about Eric, who is truly one of the most approachable and good natured people I've met on Twitter over the years.