I was enjoying myself tonight. The Jags’ turn to pick in the 2nd round was right around the corner and I was anxiously awaiting to see who we were going to pick next and then BAM. We snag DE Andre Branch. Mr. Luke Sims did an awesome write up on this player. He made a fantastic point. We found a guy who will fit right into the 4-3 scheme Mel Tucker runs here in Jacksonville. I’m convinced this IS the player we’ve been waiting for, and I cannot wait to see the impact he makes across our defensive line. He’s rangy, has good length and has great closing speed. Mr. Andrew Luck, meet Mr. Andre Branch.
Then the 3rd round arrived. I must admit I was beyond excited about who we might add to the already impressive duo of rookies drafted. Could it be Jamell Fleming, the 7th ranked cornerback, 59th overall? Or maybe Brandon Brooks, the 4th ranked guard, 63rd overall. Maybe we could draft a safety like Brandon Taylor who I mentioned earlier. He’s the 3rd ranked strong safety, 105th overall.
Some would argue, “that’s a reach!” Maybe your arguement is based around need. So what do we do? I guess we get the highest rated punter in the draft. *SIGH*
I respect Mr. Terry O’Brien’s article. I understand his point, and it’s a very good one. Field position is totally underrated in today’s game and can be one of the biggest deciding factors between a win and a loss. However, Anger would have been available in the 7th. Now I have heard comparisons to Shane Lechler…or maybe he’s more like Matt Dodge. We won’t know until the season starts. Everything aside, it’s a 3rd round pick and the players that we left on the board are no longer there. Even if they were, they won’t be in the 7th. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I refer to “reaching.”
Gene Smith nailed it with his first two picks. This one was a whiff though and only adds to the stigma this team has gained the last few years. If you’re fine with it, that’s cool. Live in denial. Truth is, that this was the dumbest pick we’ve made in a long, long time.
Think about it…we passed on the 7th ranked cornerback, the 4th ranked guard, and the 3rd ranked strong safety…for a punter who might have not even been drafted. Let’s hope we don’t draft a longsnapper in the 5th.
It’s up to us as fans and writers for this awesome team, city, and website to acknowledge these things.
-David R. Johns