The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected cornerback Dwayne Gratz of Connecticut with the second pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Gratz follows safety Jonathan Cyprien, selected with the first pick of the second round, and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, selected with the second overall pick. Gratz helps immediately by providing a starting cornerback on defense in a majorly depleted secondary.
Gratz has decent length at 5’11” and 32 1/8″ arms. He is a big guy at 201 pounds and he uses that body well to make plays in press coverage. He’s an agressive player, which NFL.com says can be used against him. This is likely one of the more appealing aspects of his game in the eyes of head coach Gus Bradley.
Gratz had three interceptions and 14 passes defended in the 2012 season. He has two defensive touchdowns in his college career. His aggressive play in college, where he was once considered a possible safety transition player, has him compared to Brandon Fletcher. Fletcher, who played with the St. Louis Rams in 2012, was the best cover slot cover in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. If Gratz can be somewhat similar then the Jaguars came away with a quality player. It is likely that Gratz starts opposite Mike Harris.
I like the Gratz pick. He fills a need, as the Jaguar draft picks all have, and fits Bradley’s scheme. This is a quality pick that helps the Jaguars get better quickly. He should be good in run support as well as in coverage under Bradley. The Jaguars managed to get two first round talents in rounds one and two but Gratz is truly their first “in round” pick at proper third round value.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims