In the Twelfth article in “The Jacksonville Jaguars Draft History and Comments” series, we will continue to review a particular Jaguar draft class, until we have reviewed all 19 of their drafts. Today we will remember 2002, From round 5 through the end. We have previously examined:
- The 1995 Expansion Draft
- The 1995 NFL Draft pt 1
- The 1995 NFL Draft pt 2
- The 1996 NFL Draft
- The 1997 NFL Draft
- The 1998 NFL Draft
- The 1999 NFL Draft
- The 2000 NFL Draft
- The 2001 NFL Draft pt 1
- The 2001 NFL Draft pt 2
- The 2002 NFL Draft pt 1
The Jaguars declined further with a 6-10 record, their second losing record in a row. This earned the Jags the 9th pick in the 2002 Draft. He of course didn’t know it but this was Tom Coughlin’s last draft as the Jaguars head coach/GM. The Jags had 9 draft picks. I will go over each selection and say something concerning the player, if deserving. I will also bring up any missed opportunity where the Jags, with hindsight on my side, could have made a better selection. I will also bring up anything interesting related to the draft…Jaguar or not. As Cher once famously sang…”If I could turn back time…”
Round Five/NO PICK FOR THE JAGUARS
Further Info - Four QBs were selected in the fifth round (Craig Nall, Randy Fasani, Kurt Kittner, & Brandon Doman). They were all combined 82 for 191 for 964 yds, six TDs and 10 INTs. Doman never recorded an NFL stat. Two players drafted were invited to Pro Bowls in this round.
Round Six/Pick #180 - Clenton Ballard,DT, Southwest Texas State - Damnit…This was such a strong draft until this pick. Typical late round Jaguar selection. Never heard of him. No NFL stats. Moving on…Would I have picked different? - Yes sir. The next player selected was safety Marquand Manuel, who played nine years to marginal success, starting about 57 games. He is now a defensive coach for the Seahawks. Not a bad position, huh? And he was a damn Gator!!!
Further Info - Two further QBs were taken in the sixth round. One, Steve Bellisari , has had a hell of a career in the Arena league. The other J.T. O’Sullivan, has had a pretty amazing career. Counting World League and the CFL, J.T. has played professionally for 13 teams in his career. He has played for the Saints, Packers, Bears, Vikings, Patriots, Panthers, Lions, 49ers, Bengals, Chargers, & Raiders. His first appearance in an NFL game involved two plays, both kneel downs. After six years as a backup he finally earned a starting position with the 49ers, only to lose it 6 games into the season per poor play. He;s thrown a TD pass to Calvin Johnson. While in the World league, he shared the 2007 NFL Europa offensive MVP award. That’s a funky collection of STUFF!! No Pro Bowlers were selected in this round. But the other RB named Adrian Peterson, out of Georgia Southern, was selected by the Bears. I’ll assume it wasn’t an accident!!!
Round Seven/Pick #222 - Kendall Newson,WR, Middle Tennessee State - This draft is running on fumes at this point. Somehow Kendall lasted in the league for four years, yet somehow only accumulated two passes caught in his career. Poor, poor pick. Would I have picked different? - You bet your bippy!! Pick #242 to the Steelers, DE Brett Keisel. He’s only about to enter his 13th year in the league, still starting. He also has 376 career tackles, 26 sacks, one Pro Bowl &…UM…two Super Bowl rings!!!
Round Seven/Pick #246 - Steve Smith, DB, Oregon - Nice name. Bad player. Never played one NFL down. Another of the history of wasted seventh round picks by the Jags. I can’t do a Would I have picked different? Because the Jags had the next pick. Let’s see if they screwed this one up!
Round Seven/Pick #247 – Hayden Epstein, PK, Michigan - Kicked for the Jags half the season. Then was released and was claimed by the Vikings. He finished out the year for the Vikings and then was out of the league. I guess this wasn’t a complete wasted pick because he did play some. Still can’t help but think we could have done better. Would I have picked different? - The next player selected was OG Kyle Kosier who went on to have a 10 year career and was well respected on the field & off.
Further Info - Three QBs were selected in the last round. Seth Burford, Jeff Kelly, & Wes Pate all combined for NO NFL STATS! All together 15 QBs were selected in the 2002 NFL Draft and shockingly David Garrard was the best of the bunch. There was one Pro Bowl player drafted in the seventh round.
Further Info Even Still - The players who had success as undrafted free agents are stunning. Listen to this list…QBs Chad Hutchinson & Shaun King, both of which eventually started and King actually had some success. OG Stephen Neal, who played for the Patriots for 10 years and OG Brandon Moore, who went to the Pro Bowl. Even more defensive players who eventually were voted to the Pro Bowl. Like Bart Scott, James Harrison, & Ryan Clark. Even special teams members were Pro Bowlers, like PKs Billy Cundiff & Matt Bryant, along with returner Eddie Drummond. There was an amazing amount of players who fell through the cracks in 2002 and they not only made teams, they made differences.
2002 Draft Summary and Grade – Round 1 (A+) / Round 2 (C+) / Round 3 (B-) / Round 4 – (B-) / Round 5 (No Score) / Round 6 – (F) / Round 7 (F-). Totaling their entire draft, the Jaguars’ 2001 NFL draft scored a (C). That score is depressing when you realise how much higher the grade would have been without the final two round’s failures.At least Tom Coughlin went out with a bang. This was their strongest draft in years but it couldn’t save his job.
I will be back soon with the 2003 draft, the beginning of the Jack Del Rio/Shack Harris era.
See ya in 2003!
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