Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguar Scout – Combine Notes / DE


I digested the entire 2014 NFL combine. I’m getting antsy for May. I sat with a notepad & took shorthand notes. I had the benefit of replay. I was also watching exclusively with the Jaguars’ needs in mind. There will be some evaluations of established players. Ones I liked and some that disappointed. I also project those who moved up my board, those who got on my board because they impressed me, and players I’m projecting as potential undrafted free agents (UFA) that the Jags should invite if available. I have already let you know about the offensive players (QBsRBsWR, TE, & OL). I will now look at the key DE position.  All projections come from CBSSportsline…Thank you!!!

  • Jadeveon Clowney (6-5, 266 lbs) – What more can I say. He was everything advertised. Quick as a flash. Cocky. I liked that he was nice to Dee Ford but showed contempt in his face when they played Ford’s insult of Clowney on a monitor for him. I have selected him first on everyone of my mock drafts and his combine performance made me more confident. If I could, I would adopt him!
  • Jackson Jeffcoat (6-3, 247 lbs) – He may be the son of former NFLer Jefferson Jeffcoat, but he didn’t seem prepared. That or he wilted under the pressure. Either way, it was a red flag for me. He showed great speed in the 40, and then proceeded to look very uncoordinated in many agility skills. He would drop a lot on my board.
  •  Dee Ford (6-2, 252 lbs) – Scary Scary! He was following up an outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl. Before he could line up for the 40 yd test, he was pulled from performing anything because of a 2012 back injury making it irresponsible for him to participate. Now I’m not an expert, (though I did stay at a Holiday Inn once), but a back seems REAL important in an athlete’s career. Drafting a DE with possible back issues is the same as drafting an offensive lineman with shoulder issues. Bad things are probably going to happen. BUYER BEWARE!!!
  • Will Clarke (6-6, 271 lbs) – This guy really jumped out. Not because of his 40 time, which was just fair. I liked how agile he was. Very fluid in his motions. I like his build and I especially liked the length of his wingspan. He will compete with J.J. Watt one day for the most knocked down passes.

Potential undrafted free agent DEs the Jags should consider:

  • Taylor Hart (6-6, 281 lbs) – Might slip through the cracks. Played for a major power (Oregon), and didn’t miss a game over the last three years. He also is multifaceted, playing all the defensive line positions and even some outside linebacker.
  •  Larry Webster (6-6, 249 lbs) – He was the second fastest DE at the combine. Long and lanky, if he weighed about 20 pounds more he would be a middle round selection. If he played for a more major college and for more than one year, he would be a day one DE. He even has lineage with a father that played in the NFL for 11 years. I would take the risk.
  • Zach Moore (6-5, 269 lbs) – ok…he’s a small college guy. I mean REAL small college (Concordia-St. Paul). But he has talent. he’s had 21 sacks over the last 2 years and 33 over his career. He ran a very nice 40 yd dash and actually tied Clowney for the fastest 10 yd split (which is more important than the 40 for a pass rush DE). He may be a project but I like his (GOD I hate this term) potential.

There is a lot of talent at the DE position. I really though only think about 8 or 9 are locks to make some kind of difference. The Jags better get a DE in the first 3 rounds or it will all be a guessing game.

Looking for the next Tony Brackens…Michael McDonald.

Say hey on Twitter @gumbussy.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Dee Ford Featured Jackson Jeffcoat Jacksonville Jaguars Jadeveon Clowney Larry Webster Popular Taylor Hart Will Clarke Zach Moore

  • SilenceCS

    I agree, outside of Clowney and Mack, there’s not a guy I would go with in the first round, and I think if Clowney is gone, then we take Watkins. Even if we don’t draft a DE early, we’re going to be better at that position. I don’t know about anybody being the next J.J Watt in terms of deflecting passes. Be careful making statements like that, he’s on his way to the hall of fame barring any major injuries that derail his career. That guy is a monster. I would take J.J now over Clowney even, and maybe that’s a mistake, but that is one serious dude. Better than Mario Williams was even (in my opinion). We have 4 DE’s (LEO’S) as it stands now (Branch, Clemons, Babin, R. Davis), I think breaking down the LEO or the 5-tech and look at them in different lights, bc in this scheme, the LEO is a totally different position than the 5-tech. I have even heard some people linking Michael sam to the Jags as a late-round leo, only I hope not. I don’t want to be the first team with an openly homosexual player, and I think it will be a much bigger issue than people realize in the locker room. I doubt the guy even gets drafted.

    What are your thoughts on trading Branch? If we get Clowney, somebody has to go, and it will either be Babin, Branch, or Davis being traded. We just can’t carry 5 guys at one position. 4 is even pushing it. I mean, if we even draft a RB (or sign MJD), we would have 4 not including Will Toufou (or whatever) at FB. I get that there are guys not active on gameday, but some of these cats are going to have to play Special teams to make it work and see the field, which Branch has done alright in. I just hope we can get something for him. One nice thing about the late round selctions we have (6 and 7th), is getting a jump on some UDFA’s others want. SF’s 6th rounder is basically equivalent to a 7th rounder, it is so late in the draft.

    What are your thoughts on Watkins at 3? Would you take him or trade back if you could (and what is the least you think would be worth moving to, say, 6 from 3)? I wouldn’t take less than a 2 and a 5 or a 3 and a 4 and a 6 in addition to the 1st round. I don’t see us dropping much farther than that without a king’s ransom.

    • SilenceCS

      to clarify… I mean branch traded, or davis/babin cut (babin only got 500k guaranteed, no problem to cut him).

  • Michael McDonald

    Hey Silence. If Bortles and Clowney are gone, and we can’t trade out for some reason, you’re damn right I would take Watkins. I like him a lot and Blackmon scared the SH*T out of me. We need to move on assuming he will not be there for us one way or another. I would trade Blackmon within 2 seconds of picking Watkins.

    If the Jags were to trade Branch, I would stage a protest and lay down in the runway so he couldn’t fly out of the city. He is coming into his own and will split time with Babin this year, not spell him. Branch is young and appears to be figuring it out. He’s not going anywhere. They can release Davis or put him on the practice squad. They can get rid of Alualu for all I care! Sorry for the short response but I have got to get a new article out. Thanks for your comments and for being a really good guy!!! See ya!!!