As the pro-days start winding down and the draft approaches, mock drafts around the web are starting to look more similar, but there are still some contrasting views on who the Jaguars should take at the 7 spot. One of our newest writers, Antonio, made the case for Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd. Let’s break down some of the other mock draft picks around the web for the Jaguars.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Antonio made a good case as to why the Jaguars should take Floyd, and there are a multitude of reasons. He’s a big, physical receiver who has all the athletic traits you want in a #1 – strong hands, separation, top end speed, etc. My only problem with taking Floyd is that I don’t see him as one of the top 7 prospects in the draft. If the Jaguars stay put at #7 (which I don’t expect), I think Gene will stick to draft the Best Available Player (BAP). I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jaguars are targeting Floyd, but I expect them to move down a bit to acquire him if they can.
Floyd’s most uncomfortable looking highlight of 2011.
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Coples has been a mainstay on Jaguar mock drafts since the end the college football season and it makes perfect sense on a superficial level. He’s the “consensus” #1 defensive end on the board and the Jaguars need an elite pass rusher to help elevate their defense to the next level. Unfortunately, Coples has a few strikes against him that we’ve historically seen Gene Smith hold players accountable for; most notably his lack of production at the college level and a perceived lack of effort. I’ll reiterate the same point I had for Floyd at #7 – Is Coples one of the seven best players in the draft? I don’t think Coples is as high on Gene’s board as other teams may have him.
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Most Jaguar fans would probably be livid if this were the pick at #7 and with good reason. Offensive linemen are never an exciting pick, especially when the Jaguars have such glaring needs at vital positions (wide receiver, defensive end). You can never have too many good offensive linemen, but drafting Reiff leaves Eben Britton as the “odd man out” on the line. Do you move Britton to guard and stick Rackley on the bench? Do you let Britton sit and serve as swing lineman? The Jaguars have recently been vocal about their support of Britton and they believe he’ll be the starter at right tackle for the foreseeable future, so don’t expect Gene to go for Reiff at #7.
Fun Fact: Of the 4 players Gene Smith has drafted in rounds 1 and 2, only Blaine Gabbert is under 300 pounds. Gene likes em’ big. Ladies.
Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Melvin Ingram
The reason I highlighted Floyd, Coples and Reiff is because those players will almost certainly be on the board when the Jaguars’ are up to pick at #7. Some mock drafts have Blackmon or Claiborne falling to the Jaguars and, while that may be ideal, that’s highly unlikely.
The overarching theme in most of these mock drafts is that the Jaguars have an interesting situation at #7 – the Jags have a lack of coincidence between value and need at #7. This is why so many people have the Jaguars trading back into the middle of the first round. There are only a handful of elite prospects in the draft and the Jaguars are on the outside looking in at #7.
Fortunately for the Jaguars, there are 2 commodities that other teams will want and may be available at #7 – Trent Richardson and Ryan Tannehill. I had the Jaguars trading back with the Bengals in my own mock draft and other mock drafts have the Jaguars trading with the Chiefs so they can nab Tannehill. Hopefully the Jaguars can take advantage of whatever unfolds on draft day and grab a couple extra picks while drafting one of the players they’re targeting.
Being in the unenviable position of blogger, I have to make a prediction here that will undoubtedly make me look very stupid come draft time. Nonetheless, let’s assume the first 6 picks off the board in April are Luck, RGIII, Kalil, Richardson, Claiborne, and Blackmon. In that case, I expect the Jaguars to take Quinton Coples if they can’t move back.
– Daniel Lago