WOW! That was as crazy a first round as I can ever remember. So, before I get started, let me give you my first round winners and what the @#$% were you thinkings.
Jacksonville Jaguars getting the consensus number one player with the second pick. Yes, I’m biased, but this is a solid pick that’ll be looked back on as a turning point in Jaguar Football.
Minnesota Vikings selecting Sharrif Floyd (DT #23), Xavier Rhodes (CB #25) & Cordarrelle Patterson (WR #29). I know they gave up the rest of their draft, but the reality is 1/3 of those players drafted wouldn’t be on their team’s roster in a few years. And these are immediate impact players & potential pro bowlers who should be around for a long time.
Buffalo Bills trading down, then selecting EJ Manuel. I like Manuel…in the second round. Time will tell how bad this move is.
Miami Dolphins jumping up to number 3 to get Dion Jordan. This won’t be a complete loss if Jordan becomes the Defensive Rookie of the Year and they still manage to get Albert from KC. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Jordan and would have taken him at 2 if Joeckel was gone, but jumping so high and giving up that much is pretty sketchy.
Now, on to round 2. My Dad has a saying that has always stuck with me, “I do what I say and I say what I mean.” I’m proud of the new regime in Jacksonville and it gives me hope for the future of the organization. They stuck to their guns and got the consensus #1 player in the draft. They could have traded out of this spot, but for what, to draft a player that “might” be good? They might get knocked for having Eugene Monroe, but seriously, in a draft that had one, maybe two, elite players, they picked one of them. Here’s my theory. Gus Bradley has done some amazing things as Defensive Coordinator in Seattle. That would be his “comfort zone” and I’m sure he can do some amazing things with what he does with the rest of the draft and free agency. So, why not address Offense in the beginning?
Now comes round 2! I feel more excited about what’s available now, than I was for round 1. Given the options and team needs, I give five potential round 2 picks.
1. Geno Smith (Quarterback, West Virginia) – A few months ago he was the number 1 player mocked in many drafts. He offers the potential to be a franchise Quarterback, especially now with an enhanced Offensive Line. He would also give Blaine Gabbert immediate competition.
2. Matt Barkley (Quarterback, USC) – Ditto. Plus, I’ve had a liking for his skill set and leadership since watching him play at Marter Dei High School in So. Cal. Also, I spoke to his parents out here in Hawaii two years ago (Hawaii vs. USC) and told them “I’d love to see Jacksonville draft Matt.” Mr. Barkley’s response was a very political “we’ll see, he has to make it there first.” Yea right. My life may peak if this comes to fruition.
3. Cornellius “Tank” Carradine (Defensive End, Florida State) – The experts said he’d be a a potential top 10 pick if it weren’t for his injury. Considering we’re in a “rebuilding year” we could slow play him like a pair of pocket aces. I’d be excited about his pick. Just as much as a Quarterback.
4. Jonathan Cyprien ( Safety, Florida International)- He’d fill a need in Jacksonville since they spent this offseason cleaning house. Cyp was mocked to go in the mid to late range of the 1st round. He could be a steal in the 2nd round.
5. Damontre Moore (Defensive End, Texas A&M)- Here’s a player that has slipped quite a bit since January. Moore was consistently mocked in the top five. Many times going to the Jags. I strongly believe that actions speak louder than words. The action on his game tape was borderline nasty, but his combine and pro day were bwaa bwaaa. Drafting him with Joeckel, then potentially Johnny Manziel next year would expand the Jags’ fan base to include half of Texas.
A few dark horses would be Manti Te’o (Linebacker, Norte Dame) with the best player available philosophy, Margus Hunt (Defensive End, SMU), Jesse Williams (Defensive Tackle, Alabama) or Jamar Taylor (Cornerback, Boise St). It looks like there’s going to be good Corners in round three though. Plus Gus Bradley has a pretty good track record at finding CB talent. I didn’t include Ryan Nassib, due to the Bills’ Doug Marrone passing on him to reach for EJ Manuel. That says a lot when your former coach passes on you to take a player some consider the 4th or 5th best QB. But hey, we may be able to get Nassib in the 3rd round now! And the way this draft is coming along, you never know.
– Jason Abarca