Will the Jaguars fill their glaring needs by sticking within the statewide talent pool? Does trading up in the first round to draft the renowned Christian Ponder (FSU) then trading up again in the second to draft safety Ahmad Black (Florida) then placating Jack Del Rio by drafting whatever USC player is left with our one remaining pick sound like the best-laid plan to you? Who wouldn’t like to watch the London Jaguars in the local pub while quaintly sipping a Boddington’s? Cheery-o!
Follow the jump to indulge in today’s Afternoon Beer…
From today’s Ask Vic:
Randall from New York, NY
You’ve talked a lot about what you believe to be the best strategy to use in the draft. [Ted] Thompson seems to use that strategy consistently, which is why, you say, the Packers are so good right now. It makes a lot of sense, but Thompson made a move recently that wasn’t so consistent, yet, still proved to be hugely valuable to the team: trading up for Clay Matthews. How does trading up fit into your scheme? When is it appropriate?
Vic: It fits when you believe the guy you’ve targeted is a difference-maker and truly worth the picks you’re going to trade away. You’re right, it was a bold move. The Packers traded away a lot to move up and draft Matthews and he wasn’t a guy who fit that high on a lot of boards, but he fit that high on the Packers’ board and that’s the board from which they were drafting. Be true to your board; it’s an old draft-room adage. Trade-ups are risky. I covered two in 2008 that darn near wrecked the Jaguars franchise. They’re not something I would do often. You have to really believe in the guy you’re getting.
I feel like the further we get away from the Shack Harris days, the more inept he seems. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and we’ve all had BAP beaten into our skulls since the failure that was the 2008 season for the Jaguars and the egregious offense Vic and his disciples felt after succumbing to “Needs” drafting, but trading up in both the 1st and 2nd round to pick SEC guys with name recognition in Jacksonville at the position of the most obvious need (defensive end) completely reeks of desperation. It was a magical run deep into the playoffs, but getting that close to the crown completely blinded everyone involved with Draft Day in the following offseason. Was there a “Be GM for a Day” sweepstakes I didn’t know about? Because that was the kind of knee-jerk idiotic move that I’d expect the guy carted out of the stadium because he passed out and threw up all over himself with “DARFT TEBOW” painted on his chest to make.
As far as trading up this year, Gene is a guy I would trust to do that, because his track record would suggest that he would only make the move for a guy he had truly strong convictions about and the guys who he has had strong convictions about have shown a lot of promise in their one to two NFL seasons. Vic kept making referencing to “acquiring ammo” to make a move for a Quarterback and I’ll guarantee that if Gene moves up in the first or second round, it will be for a QB.
From today’s Ozone:
Slim from Jacksonville:
Just wanted to say something. I was 18-years old when the Jags played their first game. This means that no part of the Jaguars history in unknown to me. I have witnessed all the highs and lows either in person, or live with my own eyes, on the television. That is something I cherish. It has to be so much better than having to look in a library or internet to see your team’s roots.
John: You and others like you are the core of a passionate fan base. In more established NFL cities, there are thousands upon thousands of you and in time, that will be the case in Jacksonville. It’s why it takes time to build a hard-core football market, but it’s also why once such a market is built, it is a passionate, remarkable thing.
I definitely agree with Slim – the question is if Jacksonville will have enough time to show they have what it takes to support the Jaguars year in and year out. But I agree that while Jacksonville may not have a large quantity of “casual fans”, which certainly help bear the ticket burden and give a franchise a better perception, there are a lot of us out there whose only love has been the Jaguars. We never went through the awkward stage of being misplaced Dolphins fans or liking the Cowboys just because they were “America’s Team” – we love the Jaguars because they were the only team growing up and we have many childhood memories of the team (in what could now be called the “glory years” of the franchise) that we deeply associate with a love of our city. Not that young people are the only passionate fans, because there are certainly many familiar faces around our seats in Everbank that I have been seeing year-in, year-out for over a decade. The kids that grew up watching the Jaguars are the ones that are now beginning to purchase season tickets now that they are independent and financially able to. Once we have fully picked up the torch, I think the franchise will experience a second growth spurt that will hopefully put the worries of becoming the LA Jaguars or the London Jaguars well behind us.