Letter to All Post-Draft Analysts…


As we’ve learned by now, it can be frustrating to be a Jaguars fan this time of year. By now, we should know that there will never be a Gene Smith draft that is praised by the pundits, but we can all enjoy laughing at them when they reverse their words a year later when the kid nobody heard of is a big-time contributor. I recommend not looking at any article with the words “Draft” and “Grades” in the title, but most fans find these irresistible – just don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you feel so incensed as to hit the “Reply to Author” button, feel free to use this template…

Dear Mr. ____________ ,

As an avid reader of your employer’s website, ___.com, I wanted to contact you to inform you of a glaring oversight in your article so that you could make the necessary corrections and hopefully, save yourself the embarrassment of any more readers seeing a supposed “expert” make such a foolish error. In your “Draft Grades” article, you gave the Jaguars a grade of ___, which by scholarly standards is not a passing grade.

We’ll overlook the fact that these young draftees haven’t played a down of NFL football – so trying to grade a team’s performance in the 2011 is a largely futile practice.

We’ll overlook the fact that you may have spent, at a maximum, 1% of the time “scouting” (watching YouTube videos, reading Mel Kiper’s draft report, etc.) these players that the teams that picked them have.

We’ll overlook the fact that the draft is about accumulating talent and replenishing a roster that has aging players who have suffered injuries with young, fast, strong, fresh bodies.

So fine, you wanna hand out your all-important draft grades based on how well a team filled it’s perceived needs…

What about that guy you keep writing about – the most important single position in all of professional sport, the one position you say a team has to have to have any chance of winning? The Jaguars drafted a quarterback who has all of the potential you could ask for to turn into that and carry the team for 10 years.

The average age of our three starting interior linemen will be just under 31 years old at the beginning of next season. These players are the most essential to a stout running game, which is the Jaguars’ core offensive identity. That wasn’t a need worth filling?

Wide receiver, safety, and cornerback were all determined to be major needs for the Jaguars going into the draft by all of the other experts…so where’s the love for them?

Most of all, sir, I’d like for you to see how many of your peers have been eating their words less than 12 months later when the “no-names”, “underperformers”, and “reaches” that Gene Smith filled his roster with in the last two years are being praised for their upside and production this early in their careers. On the bright side, the Lockout looks like it will continue for a few more months and you can keep on writing whatever you want about that – because no one knows what anybody’s talking about in regards to legal quagmires the players and the owners have gotten themselves into and frankly, most of us could care less.


Andrew Hofheimer