So the draft is ended; we all know the names of the 6 rookies; (and Kirk Morrison). The Jaguars already signed a plenty of UDFA rookies. (Personal take; I think Hawaii C John Estes can be a nice pickup for the interior O-line; in best case scenario; he can be the successor of Brad Meester)
But I want to write about 2 very important thing I see in this draft.
Yes; I think the front 7 is changing and is set and has depth as well. For every place in the defensive line (maybe outside Terrance Knighton) I see competition for the position. And in Aaron Kampman’s case, I see insurance policy picks for now and maybe more for later But I see even more on this about the arrival of the 4 rookie Defensive lineman; and Kirk Morrison.
1. I think Gene Smith just put the basics of the 3-4 together with this draft. I think 2 years from now, assuming the picks turn out well, we will see Knighton at NT; Tyson Alualu; and D’Anthony Smith as DEs
Larry Hart and Austen Lane as OLBs; and with Morrison and Daryl Smith and Durnat (if he will earn a new contract at the end of this season). I think Aaron Kampman is a fix for now helping to winand Í see 2-3 good years left for him at best. Derrick Harvey is another question mark. Certainly, he must produce this year; and I mean in sacks as well. If not then he will earn the fate of Quentin Groves next year.
2. And this is the most important thing for now. With these selections and signings Gene Smith put Jack Del Rio’s fate in defensive line coach Joe Cullen’s hands. Because Cullen will coach these new lineman and Kampman; he will teach the rookies to put the pressure to the opposite QB; he will be the conductor of this brand new front 7. Jack should thank Gene! He fired “his man” Ted Monachino; who was –let’s face it- not the right person for the job, and hired Joe Cullen; a pass rusher expert. With Monachino; I think Jack would be fired at the end of this upcoming season. With Cullen; I think he have a legitimate shot for big things. If the front 7 begins working all season long; the secondary (even Reggie Nelson if he makes the final roster) will look better and David Garrard will look better (remember the Titans not so long ago; when Al Haynesworth were there, he made the real difference for that team-until Chris Johnson arrived…). So the most important coach this season will be Joe Cullen. He has a second chance from the league; and from Gene and the Jaguars. He can prove now that he is worth that.
Bottom line is; if these players are really as good as Gene believed when he selected them; and Joe Cullen (and of course Jack Del Rio) can teach the rookies how to play in their position; and how to use their advantages and abilities in the NFL; then I guarantee the laughing (by others) will be abandoned very quickly I’m 100% sure!
Yes, we’ll get the C; D; E; and F(“Millen on LSD/crack”) grades in the papers but the game is not played on paper and in April. Nobody remembers where you were picked if you turn out to be a good/great/elite player and we won’t know that about any of the players until well into the fall…