In the seventeenth 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 review the 2005 draft. 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 2002 NFL Draft pt 2
- The 2003 NFL Draft pt 1
- The 2003 NFL Draft pt 2
- The 2004 NFL Draft pt 1
- The 2004 NFL Draft pt 2
The Jaguars showed promise with a 9-7 record, their first winning record in five years. This earned the Jags the 21th pick in the 2004 Draft. The Jags had only six 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. ”
Round One/Pick #21 – Matt Jones,WR, Arkansas - This pick was a direct reaction to one of three things. Maybe it was the loss of Jimmy Smith. Or maybe it was the underwhelming performance of WR Reggie Williams, the first round pick the year before. Or maybe it was wanting to make a splash and being absolutely dazzled by Jones’ combine performance. Hell…maybe it was all three. Regardless, the Jags selected a WR in the first round for the 2nd year in a row and it was just as big a mistake. Jones was maddeningly frustrating. We were told how fast he was but he never looked it. He barely looked like he broke a sweat. For a former QB being given a chance to be a professional WR, he would try to catch the ball with one hand constantly. But like a QB, he would duck out of bounds before anyone could hit him. He seemed to be figuring it out in his 4th year and was leading the team in receptions and TDs. Then came a drug suspension that robbed him and the Jags of his final 3 games of the season. The Jags were sticking by Jones and were looking forward to his return in 2009. During the offseason, Jones was arrested when he was found by police officers in a car with a former Arkansas buddy, that had cocaine in it.. That was all the Jags could handle and they released Jones. He hasn’t played in the NFL since his suspension. Jones was a HUGE disappointment I hope the Jags will never let a ‘Combine Freak” convince them to disregard a player’s past accomplishments. Would I have picked differently? - Yes. I don’t know who. Hmmmmm. Maybe three picks later, where the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers.
Further first round info - Three QBs were selected in the 1st round, including Alex Smith with the 1st overall pick. 13 players selected were invited to a Pro Bowl in their career. Though there was a lot of talent in the 2005 draft, I truly can only foresee #24 Aaron Rodgers ever being considered for the Hall of Fame. For the 3rd year in a row, the Lions selected a WR in the first round (#10 Mike Williams) who kept the streak alive as a horrible pro player. Running Backs…Get your money while you can. In 2005, there were actually three RBs selected in the first 5 picks. Two of them (Cedric Benson & Cadillac Williams) are out of the league and Ronnie Brown is barely holding on. This was quite a litigious group, with multiple infractions on and off the field. On the police blotter, the entire 1st round group were charged for assault six times, three D.U.I.s (including one operating a boat!), & two parole violations. They were also charged with resisting arrest, vandalism, obstruction, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, conspiracy, battery, false imprisonment, criminal possession, and animal mishandling. It also resulted in three league suspensions. Nice. The Vikings had two selections in the 1st round (#7 Troy Williamson & #18 Erasmus James) and failed miserably on both. The Redskins had two picks (#9 Carlos Rogers & #25 Jason Campbell) hitting one out of the two. The Cowboys had two selections (#11 DeMarcus Ware & #20 Marcus Spears) and knocked both out of the park.
Round two/Pick #52 - Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington – Not a horrible pick, but he definitely didn’t play to a 2nd round pick criteria. Though he was a strong run blocker, he proved to be pretty inept in the pass blocking arena. The issue was he was playing left tackle, lining up against most teams best DE, and the quarterback was getting killed. He played out his rookie contract and has played for Oakland ever since, most of it at OG, though he was recently moved back to tackle on the right side. Would I have picked differently? - Multiple choices, all future Pro Bowlers (#57 CB Justin Miller, #61 WR Vincent Jackson, #65 RB Frank Gore, & #74 DE Justin Tuck), just to name a few. That list of names makes this pick look even worse.
Further round two info – No QBs were selected in the 2nd round. Five players picked went on to be in a Pro Bowl. The Jets used their 2nd round pick to select a kicker (#47 Mike Nugent). This was after trading out of the 1st round. It is said that the Jets and the Broncos, who traded out of the first round completely, were making a comment about the lack of talent in the 2005 draft.
Round three/Pick #87 - Scott Starks, CB, Wisconsin – A player you would label JAG (Just Another Guy). Played for the Jags 6 years, put up a total of 71 tackles and 2 INTs including a pick six. He left via free agency but wasn’t signed anywhere else. Could be considered a fair talent for a late 3rd round selection. I would have liked more. Would I have picked differently? - Yes. On offense, I would have taken #109 RB Marion Barber III, selected by the Cowboys. On defense, #123 safety Kerry Rhodes, taken by the Jets.
Further round three info – Three QBs were selected in the 3rd round, none of which accomplished much. There were 5 Pro Bowlers picked. The poster boy for supposed “NFL bullying” Richie Incognito was selected #81 by the Rams. The Broncos had a very interesting 3rd round. It started with them being forced to forfeit one of their 3rd round picks because of salary cap violations. They then used a compensatory selection at the end of the round (#101) to select troubled Maurice Clarett. Coach Mike Shanahan, who always thinks he is the smartest cat in the room, spearheaded this selection. Clarett, who had been out of football for a year after being kicked out of Ohio State and losing his battle to be allowed to enter the NFL early, showed up overweight and disinterested. He was cut before the preseason was completed. Nice pick, Shanny! This round also so the selection of equally troubled Chris Henry. Multiple off field incidents, including DUIs, firearm offensives, serving alcohol to minors, among other infractions, caused him to deal with two separate suspensions. After being released by the Bengals for a second time for conduct detrimental to the team, Henry was killed when he fell off the back of a moving truck being driven by his fiance. A tragic incident and a sad life wasted.
Please return later today as I continue reviewing the Jaguars 2005 NFL Draft from the fourth round on.
See ya again in 2005!
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