Understanding the Jaguar First Round Draft Choice

I have been reading and hearing a lot about the Jaguars draft intentions and to be honest, most of it is laughable.

Let’s start with Mel Kiper. Mel seems to feel Jason Pierre-Paul would be the Jaguar choice if the Jaguars are as wise as he is. Jason Pierre-Paul has produced maybe one half of a college football season at South Florida.  Thanks for the wisdom Mel, we will discuss this choice later. 

Of course, every mock draft had Tim Tebow coming to the Jaguars in round one because of some conspiracy the owners are supposed to have agreed to that would allow Tim to fall to the Jaguars.  Somehow, the home town scenario and save the franchise became the  common agreed to truth. Even Al Davis was supposed to have signed off with an inside secret handshake.  OK.  Let me be clear. If you believed this, even for a moment, don’t go to the poker room just after payday.  If you are at the poker table and you don’t know who the sucker is, get up and walk away, you are the sucker.

The latest inane statements came on Big Cat Country radio as Jon interviewed Dan from Mocking the Draft. Dan declared that Gene stated he would “draft the best defensive end available in the first round and then anyone from Florida because it would sell a couple of hundred tickets”.   Jon does a great job on BCC radio, but Dan from Mocking the Draft was not a highlight moment.

I will tell you what is on Gene Smith’s mind when he approaches the draft. How do I know? He told us. Gene will draft the Best Available Player, period. It has nothing to do with need of the team. It has everything to do with who will help the team win in the future for many years to come.

For the first round draft choice, Gene will want to be sure he has drafted someone who can help the team. He won’t take flyer on Jason Pierre-Paul or Derrick Morgan or Carlos Dunlap unless he is so solid in his conviction that the guy can play at a high level. He will want to be sure the guy he selects won’t take the money and check out. Gene likes and believes in both talent and character and will be very sure of his choice.

Jason Pierre-Paul doesn’t have a body of work to give anyone assurance he can produce at a high NFL level. Derrick Morgan got eaten up by the Iowa offensive line. Carlos Dunlap may not be the BAP at 10.  Tim Tebow is not expected to save the franchise. Gene will want a more solid choice than these guys represent. He is simply not going out on a limb for guy when he doesn’t have to. There are plenty of good choices available.

Let’s start with sacking the quarterback.  Elvis Dummerville was selected at position 126. So was Jared Allen. Dwight Freeney was the 11th overall selection. Lemarr Woodley was the 46th overall selection and Will Smith of New Orleans was the 18th overall pick. Those are your top five sack leaders of 2009.  In short, if Gene Smith doesn’t believe any of the top three defensive ends are BAP, he will pass and address the defensive end position later in the draft or in free agency.  Great defensive ends do not always come from the first round and there is no urgency by the Jaguars to select one in round one.

A number 10 draft position will command $15 million guaranteed. If that player is guaranteed the money, Gene will want the same guarantee of performance.  You don’t need to look at needs of the team or at conspiracy theories. Just look for the most solid for sure football player available and your head will be where Gene Smith’s head is at.  The most probable selection will be a senior playing a strong role for his team at a high level of competition and demonstrating a love for football. Someone with a long bright future ahead of him as a Jaguar.

With that criteria, I would not be surprised to see C.J. Spiller, Golden Tate or Rolando McClain as the 10th player selected by the Jaguars.  Barring a trade down, the first round selection will be a solid play maker choice and will have nothing to do with need or college he graduated from.

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  • dan073eb

    Great post, and I agree that’s what I think Gene is thinking too. Best article I’ve read on the topic so far.

  • Jonathan Loesche

    You should’ve stayed on the line longer. Lot’s of good draft talk after that. I agree Dan’s statement was a “WTF” moment, but he knows his stuff and his comments on later round guys were great.

  • http://www.bigcatcountry.com tkopa

    Collin asked me to call in to be sure you weren’t alone as he couldn’t make it. When I heard Adam on the line, I knew you were fine. When Dan started talking about the jaguars and his comments were so far off, he completely lost credibility with me. Since you were fine and the program was going, I decided not to start an arguement.

    I don’t know why there is so much misinformation about the Jaguars. it is maddening.

  • Jonathan Loesche

    It’s sadly just part of the national perception and the leftovers of the Shack Harris era. At the Pro Bowl it was amazing to see guys from major papers who might as well have been guys on message boards with regards to their knowledge of Jacksonville. Then again with a fanbase that is taking out radio ads urging the team to draft Tebow, maybe we deserve it.

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    Yeah I agree with both of you. Most of the mainstream media doesn’t know what they alking about via Jags and draft. The only guy I trust via draft in ESPN is Paul Kuharsky(Kiper and others should read his blog) instead speaking stupid things. About BCC Radio. I agree with John that statement from Mocking Dan was stupid; but the draft talk was really good stuff…
    And the the Tebow thing. Here is my offer to the Tebow camp:
    BUY 30000 SEASONTICKETS FOR 3 YEAR AND YOU GET YOUR “MESSIAH” (hey LA is calling so if they put their butt in that large numbers for 3 year in HMS; I’M fine with that-and the endo of the 3 years; eiter we will apologize for douubt in Timmy; or they will know how stupi tey were with the Tebow-chant..)

    Terry; very; very; very good article. But you have a shocker in it: Golden Tate???? Unmless he is the second coming of Jerry Rice I think the Jaguars will not draft WRs. I think you list make more sense if you change Tate’s the name to Dan Williams.
    But other then that a great; reasonable article as always!

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    Oups with HMS I mean JMS (Jacksonville municipal Stadium)

  • http://www.bigcatcountry.com tkopa

    Zoltan,

    I was pointing out that the Jaguars might draft someone we never expected them to draft. If Gene thinks he is BAP, then get ready to be surpeised.

    Jon, you run a great radio program.

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    I agre with the surrprise factor Terry but a WR in the 1st round?

  • kbot

    Speaking of Pierre-Paul, I would much rather take George Selvie in the 2nd (if we manage to get that pick back), or 3rd round (if he lasts until then). Like I mentioned in the BCC Scouting Report on Pierre-Paul, the players who caught my attention in Pierre-Paul’s highlight video were actually Selvie double teamed and pushing the play towards Pierre-Paul, and Nate Allen playing good coverage.