So you were as surprised as I was? No doubt. Once the Jaguar draft team got on a roll they didn’t get off until thy drafted (meep meep) Daji Karim, the roadrunner. The defensive line dominated this draft.
So what did the Jaguar drafting team see in these guys? Let’s take a deeper look.
D’Anthony Smith from LA Tech is the heaviest of the guys. He is 6′ 2″ and 304 lbs. D’Anthony did bench 28 reps at 225, had a 35.5″ vertical and 9’5″ broad jump. (Thumper index = 73, very good) His short shuttle was a very slow 4.58 seconds and his three cone drill was 7.42 seconds.
D’Anthony compares closer to Terrance Knighton, well almost. Knighton is 6’3″ 321 lbs with a short shuttle of 4.78 seconds and a three cone drill of 7.9 seconds. D’Anthony Smith is lighter and quicker. Knighton can handle the double team but I don’t think D’Anthony can, not enough bulk. He does have skill at being a disruptive force that can get into the backfield and his measurables say he is stronger than he is quick. The confusion is he only has 12 sacks in his career and 3.5 in his senior year.
The big question for D’Anthony Smith: Are you really a disruptive pass rushing tackle and a good partner for Terrance Knighton? If so, where are the sacks and why did your sack total decline every year against lower level competition?
On the other end of the scale is Larry Hart from Central Arkansas.
Larry Hart is a shade over 6 foot tall and about 245 lbs. He benched 24 reps at 225, had a 34 inch vertical and a 10 foot broad jump. (TI = 68, good) He put up an impressive short shuttle of 4.26 seconds and a three cone drill at 7.00 seconds. Larry Hart is a Dwight Freeney wannabe. He can add weight and bulk up to about 260. With his quickness and speed, he can close off the corner and give left or right tackles problems. I am guessing him for a right defensive end position as most runs come from that side. I don’t know where he will play, but he will be very interesting to watch.
The big question for Larry Hart: With quickness and hustle and change of direction ability, wouldn’t you be happier as a pass rushing weak side linebacker?
Our tallest new boy on the line is Austin Lane.
Austin Lane is 6′ 6″ and 275 lbs. Word is he can bulk up another 25 pounds and not lose a step. A 6′ 6″ 300 lbs DE is a good thing. Austin bench pressed 20 reps at 225, had a 34.5″ vertical and a 10′ broad jump. (TI = 64.5, low) His short shuttle was a nothing impressive 4.44 seconds and his three cone drill was 7.38 seconds. Austin has very long arms and a basketball background. In college he shot up 50 pounds and was a late riser on the draft boards. Austin Lane is as big or bigger than Derrick Harvey or Reggie Hayward and much bigger than Aaron Kampman.
The big question for Austin Lane: Are you just a big dancing bear or do you have real pass rush moves? Can you challenge Derrick Harvey?
And now… the star of our show, Tyson Alualu
Tyson Alualu is both Larry Hart and D’Anthony Smith. He is 6′ 3″ and 295 lbs. He benched 24 reps at 225, had a 35.5″ vertical and a 10′ broad jump. (TI = 69.5, good) All very close to D’Anthony numbers. He also put up a short shuttle of 4.28 seconds on his pro day and was among the leaders in the three cone drill at the combine with 7.15 seconds. Very close to Larry Hart. He is hard to describe, there is no one on the team like him. He is like…. no one else. just big and quick. They could play him at defensive end and he would be the heaviest defensive end we have but move as quick. They could play him at linebacker and he would outweigh the others by 50 lbs but move as quick, they could put him on the line and he would be about 30 lbs lighter than Terrance Knighton and John Henderson, but be much quicker. They could probably play him at safety. He is an inch shorter than Ndamakong Suh and Gerald McCoy and outweighs Derrick Morgan by 40 lbs. He is equal to all three in athletics, quicker than Suh and McCoy, heavier than Morgan but just as quick.
The big question for Tyson Alualu: When can you get here?
D’Anthony Smith, disruptive pass rush up the middle, questionable quickness. Need to see him play.
Larry Hart: Short but quick on the edges, might be an OLB. Can he beat Britton or Monroe?
Austin Lane: Big man on the end, still growing with an athletic background. Won’t get pushed around. Little on the stiff side.
Tyson Alualu: Big and quick, put him wherever you want. He will be a problem to block.
These are four very different guys and watching them develop will be a pleasure. Welcome to Jacksonville guys.
- Terry O’Brien