Editor’s note: This is another article by our GM Gene whisperer/draftnik expert, Jason Love. He is going to be a true asset to us as we breakdown the offseason so please share your thoughts in the comments section!
The 2011 NFL draft is almost upon us and the Jags are sitting pretty with a plethora of picks. Currently, the Jags have picks in the middle of the first six rounds, the 24th pick of the 4th round (from New Orleans), a conditional 7th rounder from Green Bay for Anthony Smith, and an unknown conditional pick for Reggie Nelson (who actually did alright this year) from Cincinnati. The Jags will not receive any supplemental picks this year due to big Free Agency signings. (Here’s a link to a website with all of this year’s draft picks). We know GM Gene makes the most of every pick, so what patterns can we use to predict how Gene will pick in 2011?
GM Gene has shown a propensity in the last two years to draft certain players that fit a certain mold, yet many people have not recognized the pattern. Let’s look at the last two drafts. In 2009 GM Gene drafted Offensive Tackle, Offensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Running Back, Wide Receiver. In 2010 he drafted, Defensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End, Defensive End, Running Back/Returner, and Cornerback/Returner. That’s seven linemen, all drafted before skill-position players, in both years’ drafts. So the first criterion is glaringly obvious, GM Gene loves big men (to play for his teams, that is). GM Gene also is not scared of drafting multiple players for a single position.
GM Gene also loves accolades: All-Conference, All-America, All-Anything, you got it, he loves it. Being a consistent starter and a senior also help in determining who the Jags might select. GM Gene also loves hard working, blue collar, high motor guys that don’t quit, even when signing FA’s. Look at last year – Alualu and Kampman are prime examples. The most obvious thing to look for is the Jaguars’ love for high character guys. If you have a run-in with the law or get disciplined by your school, GM Gene will probably take you off of his Big Board. Finally, one of the most overlooked, yet most important, criteria is whether or not the player has been a team captain. GM Gene LOVES team captains. These men are self-motivated, leaders, hard workers, and they stay out of trouble. They embody the player type that GM Gene loves to draft.
Let’s look at prior drafts and see how this analysis stacks up.