Looking Ahead: Jaguars’ 2011 Draft Needs
"Editors Note: I would like to introduce to all of our readers out there a new contributor to Black&Teal – Jason Love, from Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida. Jason is an extremely knowledgeable and forward-thinking fan and a valuable ambassador for the Jags out in the Florida Panhandle. Black&Teal will be assembling a 2011 mock draft before too long and Jason has already been contemplating the Jaguars’ strategy. Everyone please welcome him to the B&T family!"
Hello all, Jason Love here – you might have seen me post on the Jaguars MB, BCC, JagNation (though no longer), draftcountdown, etc. I go by the moniker “The Linebacker”. I’ll lead into my first ever article with a brief history of myself. I’m a massive Jaguars fan currently marooned in Tallahassee. I own season tickets and make it to as many games as possible and when I can’t make it or it’s an away game, I watch the games with the Tallahassee Jaguars Club. I played football through middle and high school and attended UF for undergrad. Now I’m at FSU for graduate school, which hinders my Jaguars viewing capabilities. Enough with me, on to my take of the Jaguars roster and where they will be looking for help next year during the offseason.
DISCLAIMER — Remember boys and girls. GM Gene drafts with the BAP (Best Available Player) strategy. He loves trading down and hates trading up. He loves big guys over small guys. He loves polished and mature players over immature players and “projects”. He loves a good motor and a never quit attitude over players that take plays off. He has a history of taking seniors and captains. FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, he loves BAP… wait, did I already say that? Anyway, remember this when reading the analysis, because what I’ve outlined is perceived need, not BAP. If an amazing OT was available every time the Jags picked, I fully expect (and you should too) that GM Gene will either draft that player or find someone willing to trade up so that he can acquire more draft picks. THE KEY IDEA IS YOU TAKE THE BEST PLAYER AND FIND A WAY TO PLAY THEM.
Get the position-by-position breakdown after the jump…
TEEM NEED EXPLANATIONS:
- QB: Garrard is mercurial. He is fire and ice. When he is on, he is ON. When he is off, well…you get the gist. Garrard has played very well though most of the season. His contract still has as least 3 years on it. The problem is he is old and the Jags have no QB prospects on the roster (all apologies to McCown and Edwards). The Jaguars haven’t drafted a QB since 2004 and that is a major issue. GM Gene is on record as saying that they want a QB and that this is a very strong QB draft. He has made moves to acquire more picks and has stated that while he doesn’t like trading up, a QB is something that he would trade up for. Summation…
*Jags need a future franchise signal-caller.
- RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, no comment. Rashad Jennings is a good change-of-pace back. He’s got good size and can pound out the yards. He also has great hands out of the backfield. His issues seem to come with indecision. Deji Karim, a 6th rounder last year, is the primary KR and can spell MoJo at any time. He’s build just like MoJo, 5’8″ 200lbs and runs just as hard and may be faster.
*Running back is good.
- FB: Montell Owens is a ST ace and a capable blocker. Brock Bolen showed some running ability in the preseason and has the ability to block. Greg Jones was thought to be trending downward but in the last few games has shown renewed vigor and when he plays well, he plays VERY well. They have also started to reincorporate Jones into the offensive play selection.
*FB is good.
- WR: MSW is a good WR. He has sure hands and good athletic ability. His problem? He can’t stay healthy and disappears at times. Mike Thomas is a very good receiver with extremely good hands and a great build for YAC (yards after catch). He might be the best receiver on the team. Kassim Osgood has OK hands and decent athletic ability. He mainly is on the team for ST, as he is a Pro Bowler in that regard. Jarrett Dillard has exceptional route running and hands, but he has landed on IR for the last 2 years and cannot stay healthy. Tiquan Underwood has great speed and good height, but lacks bulk and consistent hands. The last WR spot is always rotational. Currently on the WR block- Jason Hill, John Matthews, Clarence Denmark, and Nate Hughes.
*Jaguars need a consistent 3rd WR.
- TE: Jaguars have a very good TE corps. Marcedes Lewis is one of, if not the best, all-around TE’s. He is a top 5 blocker and a top 10 receiver. He is currently 2nd in the NFL with TD grabs. Zach Miller is a QB turned TE. He has great athleticism and very good hands. He just needs to learn the position a bit more and improve his blocking. Zach Potter is a pure blocking TE. He has massive size, but needs to improve his catching. This is an ascending group. Mike Caussin is currently on the practice squad and offers intriguing upside.
*The TE’s are good.
- OT: Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton are the building blocks of the offensive line. Currently, Monroe is farther ahead than Britton, especially now that Britton is on IR. Britton is considered a better run blocker and Monroe is consider a better pass blocker. The backups aren’t much to speak of, but Black has held his own so far in Britton’s place. Haslem has good size and upside. Whimper (former 4th rounder) is a journeyman type. The PS has Baldridge, who offers massive size, which you just cannot teach. A Colliereqsue project.
*The Jaguars could use a solid OT to push Monroe and Britton to new heights or to supplant them.
- OG: The Jaguars have an aging interior line. The Jaguars currently have 3 G’s on their roster. 30 y.o. Manuwai, 29 y.o. Smiley and 26 y.o. Nwaneri. Manuwai, when playing well, is one of the most dominating run blockers in the league, but has been hobbled by his knee injury from 2 years ago. Smiley was a very good starter for SF and Miami, but has since been slowed by injuries and was recently beaten out of the OG position by Manuwai. Nwaneri just recently received a contract extension and plays the pass and the run both equally well. The Jaguars have no players on IR or the PS currently.
*The Jaguars need some new blood here desperately.
- C: The Jaguars currently have one true center on the team, Brad Meester. He is 33 y.o. and as of last year, was not playing very well. This year he has had a slight resurgence and is playing pretty well for the most part. Nwaneri was in a battle for the starting C position with Meester and might be the heir apparent. The Jags currently have Brad Vierling on the IR and John Estes on the PS. Both have some upside.
*The Jags need a new center to be at the very least Meester’s replacement when age catches up to him.
Check out the Jags’ defensive needs on the next page…