Why Gene Smith must hit a big home run with the 2010 1st round pick


[Editor Note: When I wrote for Big Cat Country, Zoltan was a regular contributor and commentor. I asked him to be a part of the Black and Teal Family as well. He agreed and this is his first post.  I want to say I am so very happy to have Zoltan participate and will post whatever and whenever he writes for us]

We all know how important the Draft is for General Manager Gene Smith in order to rebuild the Jaguars. I think he considers April 22-24, 2010 as the most important 3 days of the year. But in my opinion: April 22nd, the first day of the draft, maybe the most important day for any Jaguar GM in a very long time. Among the possible candidates to be selected is someone everyone from Jacksonville and a Jaguar fan knows and is rooting for, Tim Tebow!

Well I’m from Hungary; but even I heard Tim’s name mentioned for a long time. And because I’m not a local maybe my view is more objective about the Tebow case. In my opinion he is a huge risk factor; because almost every analyst raises big question marks about whether he can be a successful player in the NFL. I think he can; but not in the Jaguars system! He doesn’t fit here. He is not ready to be a Day 1 starter; and no matter what many people says; he is someone you cannot put on the bench, not in Jacksonville. Although every Jaguars fan has some issues with David Garrard; he is by far a better pro QB then Tebow will be on day one. Owner Wayne Weaver said exactly one week ago-that he wants to return into the playoffs in 2010. I think with Garrard the Jaguars have a chance (not to big; but they have one); with Tebow; well not much. So that means for Gene and for the Jaguars the obvious: Tim Tebow will be NOT a Jaguars player in the draft. Gene wants players ready day one and that is not Tim Tebow.

But Gene Smith must take actions against the massive upset; and (fake?) outrage for a possible “No Tebow” draft. How he can do that? Well it is simple: with the 1st round choice he must select a big difference and playmaker. A talent that he can say in the end of the season: “Hey; you still wanted to pick Tebow with that pick?” Yes this is the only way to do that. He needs a home run.

Now the fantastic 2009 Jaguars draft class made a major impact for this team, but it has something missing…. A STAR! I know Eugene Monroe can be a Pro Bowl-All Pro caliber left tackle; Terrance Knighton might be a pro-bowl player some day as well. Derek Cox; Mike Thomas; Jarett Dillard; Zach Miller and Rashad Jennings all have a potential to grow. But let’s face it: only one player was mentioned at the all-rookie team from the Jaguars: Terrance Knighton; and he does not have as much the fame as say a Cushing; Byrd; Laurinaitis; Matthews; Raji a.k.a. the real star defensive rookies from this class. We are lacking a STAR draft choice!

The first round pick of the Jaguars in 2010 MUST be a player like that. He must be racing every week for the “rookie of the week” awards; and he must be one of the candidates in the defensive/offensive rookie of the year title. Only then can Gene say to all the Tebow lovers: Hey I made a better selection and choice with the pick I had. I made this team much better then picking Tim. Thankfully with the top 10th – 11th pick he can find a player like that. Joe Haden; CJ Spiller; Rolando McClain; or Derrick Morgan (just to name the most talked candidates right now) might become players who can fulfill that need. All we can hope for is for Gene to make a wise choice among them. And in the end of the year; nobody among us will regret that he passed on Tim Tebow! Gene Smith has his hands full this year!

– Zoltan Paksa