The draft has become one of the most exciting offseason events in football. Radio City Music Hall becomes a circus. Every GM is hoping to find that next big time playmaker. Every fan is hoping their team makes the BEST pick that will either take their favorite team to the next level or maybe shore up a position that is lacking. There have been numerous first round picks who were supposed to be their team’s savior only to crash and burst into flames like the Hindenburg. There have also been several mid to late round picks who no one knew, but ended up becoming the face of the franchise.
This year, there will be plenty to look forward to on the first night. The Colts will try to fill the gap Peyton Manning left behind. The Redskins will grab RGIII (we’ll see). Someone will reach for QB Ryan Tannehill. Someone will slide. Someone will be picked too high. There will be trade ups. There will be trade downs, and if you don’t live in a hole in the ground, you will more than likely know who every single prospect picked in the first round is. But what about Day 2? Or even day 3? There are seven rounds to a draft, and there can be some great value found in the mid to late rounds.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, I will be breaking down four Day 2 and Day 3 prospects. That way when the Jags draft that prospect who Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock have not said ANYTHING about, you will at least have some sort of idea who that player is. I’m such a swell guy aren’t I?
Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas:
How many of us Jags fans would like to see more in our return game? I know I would! Look up Joe Adams’ punt return against Tennessee in 2011. He tip toes up the sideline, breaking several tackles. It’s quite impressive. Instead of reaching for a receiver in the first round based strictly off of need, why don’t we snag this guy in the 3rd round where he should be picked? He only clocked a 4.55 40 yard dash in the combine, but he HAS been clocked in the 4.3 range. Knowing that Jacksonville needs more receiver help, Adams could possibly make an outstanding slot receiver at the next level.
He’s also a great special teams player. He returned 16 punts for 259 yards with a 16.2 yard average and 3 touchdowns, 2 prior to the Tennessee game.
Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois:
Who doesn’t love versatility along the offensive line? Considering how many times Gabbert was sacked last season, it would be a mistake to not draft a lineman in the mid to late rounds. Jeff Allen is slated to be drafted in the 4th round. What I like about Allen is that he played both tackle spots at Illinois. He’s more than likely going to develop into a starting guard at the next level, but he excels at pass blocking-something that was lacking on our offensive line last year, and is good at the point of attack as an in-line blocker. Even if we don’t snag Allen, it’s important that we do not let all seven rounds go by without drafting an offensive lineman.
Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee:
22. That’s the number that sticks out with Malik Jackson. 22. That’s how many tackles for losses Jackson had in his two years at Tennessee. He’s solid with good quickness, and played inside at only 265lbs., which shows his toughness. He lacks closing speed, and I personally believe he’ll have to bulk up, but he would provide quality depth at strong side DE in a 4-3. Jackson is also a very good run stopper. He’d be a great addition to the Jags’ defensive front.
Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College:
Fletcher had 33 tackles, 1 interception, and 4 pass break ups through 10 games in his senior campaign. At 6’1, 195 lbs, Fletcher has the size to compete with big receivers in the league. He has good, not elite speed, but he makes up for it with how physical he is at the line of scrimmage. Any secondary in the league needs as many solid cornerbacks they can get.
These four prospects will more than likely be picked rounds 2-4. You won’t hear the draft gurus say very much about them if anything at all, but as stated before, there are 7 rounds to a draft. I believe all four could be solid football players for our beloved Jaguars. Tune in next week for four more mid to late round prospects and GET EDUCATED. Don’t be that guy who doesn’t know anything past round 1…
-David R. Johns