The NFL Combine will take place from February 20th-26th. It will be there that we get a better idea of what these college prospects can do. There’s been an infinte amount of mock drafts floating around the interwebs. I’m not going to say that almost all of them have Jacksonville selecting someone along the defensive line…but…almost all of them have the Jaguars selecting a defensive lineman. In this post I will throw in my own 2 cents about what I think of these guys and how they would fit.
- Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU: Among most mocks as of late, this seems to be the general consesus pick. Werner was a complete beast at Florida State. Last year alone he compiled 13 sacks, 18 TFLs, 8 pass break ups, and 42 tackles. The best thing about Werner in my humble opinion is that he seems to have a very high ceiling. In other words, he’s only going to get better. He has natural instincts and I really like the fact that he had 8 pass break ups during his senior season. We’ve seen over in Houston just how effective a defensive lineman can be when he gets his hands in the air. I’m not saying he’s JJ Watt, but right now it doesn’t look like we have anyone along the defensive line with the ability to consistently break up passes. I like Werner’s ability. I like Werner’s intangibles. This would be a “solid” pick if there is such a thing.
- Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M: Moore seems to be falling a little bit lately. I believe the general concern among most is that he’s not as good an athlete as advertised. He doesn’t close well, and looks to be playing complacently at times. He also plays tall. He’ll need to get those pads lower if he wants to stand a chance rushing the passer in the NFL. He’ll have a lot to prove at the end of the month.
- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: The Jaguars could use some meat in the middle, and Lotulelei is the the highest rated defensive tackle in this year’s draft. Of course most guys who are Star’s size (6’3, 320) are going to be good at stopping the run. You don’t draft a defensive tackle with the second overall pick, however, unless he can do what separates good DTs from great DTs-collapse the pocket and put pressure on the passer. I just don’t agree with taking a guy at No. 2 who could possibly only be on the field for 2 downs and can’t contribute on the money downs.
- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU: I honestly think that drafting Mingo is a possibility. If you look at Bradley’s LEO spot (lines up as an OLB at times) Mingo fits perfectly. Look at Bruce Irvin last year from Seattle. Everyone thought that was a reach, but it ended up working out quite well. You don’t draft a guy who has one specific skill set-unless it’s rushing the passer. Mingo looks to be a football player without a natural position, but as it stands the Jaguars only racked up 20 sacks in 2012 and with no one on the current roster who can play the LEO, it’s crucial that the Jaguars get this important piece in this year’s draft in order for the defense to be function effectively. There’s a lot of risk when it comes to Mingo. Could he be boom or bust? One thing is for sure; he should put on a great show at the combine.
The Jaguars have plenty of options with the second overall pick. It’s going to be quite interesting if the Chiefs draft Geno Smith and Luke Joeckel ends up sliding to No. 2. So I guess one could say that how the first picks shake out hangs on the Chiefs’ ability to re-sign LT Brandon Albert. I wouldn’t state that as “fact” but I’m sure that will come into play at one point or another.
Obviously these aren’t the only four players being mocked at 2. These just seem to be the names that pop up the most. I’m really not a fan of Moore. I could live with drafting Lotulelei. Mingo would make me nervous as to how it would pan out. Is Werner a “safe” pick? No. There’s no such thing as a safe pick, I don’t care what anyone tells you. There’s something about taking Werner at 2, however, that just doesn’t sit right with me. I can’t tell you why, so please don’t ask. Would it be more beneficial to trade down and stock pile picks? What do you guys think?
-David R. Johns