The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had a draft pick make the Pro Bowl since 2006 picks Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis, both of whom were part of the Shack Harris era, now two general managers back. While the jury is still out on some of the guys from the 2011 and 2012 draft, it doesn’t look like many of the picks have a shot at making their way to the Pro Bowl. Eugene Monroe, Cecil Shorts III, and Justin Blackmon probably have the best shot of those drafted by Gene Smith.
The problem, hopefully, was with Smith and not with the scouting department. The Jags have had a well respected scouting department – at least if you believe the rumors posted on Jaguars.com all the time – and it returns under new GM David Caldwell for this year’s NFL Draft. I sincerely hope that the changes in process are what is needed for the Jags. I don’t want to have to start reciting the definition of insanity over and over when it comes draft time each year.
Fortunately, Caldwell says that the process will be changing. This is a prime example of good personnel management. The people in the scouting department are good at scouting and Caldwell is simply tweaking where their focus lies and what aspects of his team he wants emphasis placed on. In it all, Caldwell is expected to be the one making the decisions. “Every organization is different in how players are selected. Some teams, the general manager is pulling cards off. Other teams, it’s a collaborative effort between the coaching staff and personnel. Other teams, it’s just the head coach and general manager.” With the Jaguars, it is decidedly Caldwell, with some input from head coach Gus Bradley, making the decisions. With the new org. chart of head coach to GM, GM to owner, it all rests on Caldwell’s head.
If this year’s draft doesn’t play out as Caldwell plans in his head, you may expect some changes in the scouting department. Most teams make their scouting department changes following the April draft, so it will be curious to see if Caldwell was able to turn the focus the way he desired.
If the draft doesn’t work out and heads don’t roll, it may look bad for Caldwell. But he knows better. “The average person may not see it, but the process has changed,” he said per Jaguars.com. Let’s hope the success of our draft picks changes as well.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims