Monday, January 24, 2011

Jaguars Draft Needs

Today, I'm going to take a swing at trying to help Jags GM Gene draft the right positions in April's coming draft.  I think I hit it out of the ballpark!  Tell me what you think!

If you are a Jaguars fan, and I'm sure you are, you will no doubt agree with me that the most pressing need for the Jaguars is to find someone to get after the QB.  Derrick Harvey has been a huge bust and likely won't be back next year.  Austen Lane and Larry Hart were both drafted last year and combined for only 1.5 sacks.  Not impressive at all!   Aaron Kampan who had 4 sacks before tearing is ACL in week 8 will be headed into his 10th year next season, so D'Anthony Smith, Austen Lane and Larry Hart will have to step their games up before Kampman is gone.  Having said all of that, I don't think DE is the biggest need for this team.

Which spot is crying out for help the most?  CORNERBACK!  The Jaguars CB group looked OFFENSIVE for most of the season.  Derek Cox looked great starting the preseason but after having a very disappointing season opener, Jack Del Rio benched him for 2 games and he did mop up duty in the 3rd game of the season against Indy.  He returned to the starting lineup in week 7 against KC and had a good remaining season.  He now needs some help on the other side of the field.  Rashean Mathis is the biggest weak link this team has.  He whiffs on tackles and is constantly out of place and getting burned.  It became a weekly staple to see him get burned and then turn to the Safety as if it was their fault.  Mathis has not been the same cover Corner since he was injured in 2007 and again in 2008.  He had only one INT the entire year and that came against a backup QB in Dallas.  Jacksonville has to draft a CB in the first round or they risk never catching up with the Colts.

The next pressing need for the Jaguars is a QB.  David Garrard is an average QB and he may never take them to a Championship game or the Super Bowl.  It is now time to draft his replacement.  The Jaguars passed on a starting QB at least twice in last years draft.  No I am not talking about Tim Tebow either.  The Jaguars can't afford to take a pass this year.  Look at what they passed on last April, Colt McCoy!  McCoy is coming right along with a good supporting cast around him.  He is going to be a bonafide star in this league.  This year is chuck full of good looking QB's and one of them needs to be wearing Teal and Black come April.  This is the only time you'll see me make an actual prediction of WHO the Jags will draft.  Let's just say ribbit ribbit.

The third obvious need is in the Linebacking Corps.  Darryl Smith can't carry this group all by himself, he needs help.  This is the time to get that help.  If you want to improve the defense it has to happen here and at this position.  You want to beat the Colts and make Peyton Manning do his punkified self-sack, then get some pressure up the middle and scare the living daylights out of him, which by the way ain't to hard.

Last but not least is on the O-Line, with the most critical position being Center.  Brad Meester is not getting any younger going into his 12th season.  He looked good this year, but it is a young man's game and what better way to help that new QB than to get him his Center at the same time?  Plus having that Iowa farm boy Meester mentoring that rookie Center would be awesome.

I know some of you will say that the Jaguars also need a Safety.  I don't agree with that assessment at this moment.  I would rather see a second CB taken before the Jaguars address the S position and here's why.  I think that SS Courtney Greene and FS Don Carey will improve.  Carey is only going into his 3rd season and he showed improvement game after game.  Greene is also going into his 3rd season and has made some very nice hits.  I haven't seen anyone lay the wood like that since Double D left.  Mike Hamlin came over from Big D and has been serviceable.  I also like Sean Considine, he seems to always be in the right place to make big plays.  He does get beat, but not nearly as bad as Mathis.  Tyron Brackenridge is also a nice pick up from Kansas City.  Looking at the Safeties, Considine is the oldest with 6 years experience.  This is a young group that is only going to get better.  So no, I don't think the Jaguars should waste a pick on a S, unless he's the Best Available Player on the board when they draft.  In GM Gene I Trust, but I'd love it if he took my advice!

Don't forget to post your thoughts below!

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