An OLB, CB, and a DT
By David Johns
The draft is done and over with, and I must say that I am very happy with what the Jags did in the later rounds. As you know, I have a deep admiration for the late rounds. The late rounds are where teams usually begin drafting for needs, and as just like other teams in the NFL the Jags had many. This draft class warranted only one offensive player, but that player was one of the best in the draft. Much will be written on him AND DE Andre Branch, and if you’ve been reading then you know how I feel about our 3rd round pick.
I’d like to take a little time out of this beautiful Saturday to break down our 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks. We traded our 4th to move up and get Blackmon.
I will begin with OLB Brandon Marshall from Nevada. There are two qualities that I admire in this player. He is strong and he has the desire to be the best. He has the ability to take on and shed blockers. He has good bulk and size. Add that with his long arms and it gives him the ability to swat blockers. If there’s a knock on his game it’s his speed. He has average speed at best, and his footwork leaves much to be desired. It’s a crowded position here in Jacksonville. It’s one of the strongest positions on the team including the likes of Paul Posluszny, Clint Sessions, and the very underrated Daryl Smith, but I’d feel very comfortable with having Marshall as a back up and as a special teams guy. Maybe he should insert his middle initial, however. I don’t want him getting stabbed.
We snagged cornerback Mike Harris in the 6th. This is exactly where Harris should have gone. He had 58 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 9 pass break ups, one sack and an interception. He’s not afraid to make tackles, a quality which can be lacking in cornerbacks. He has fluid hips and can track the ball fairly well. Some would argue we’re set at the position having acquired CB Aaron Ross in free agency and re-signing Mathis. I would have to agree. He is probably not better than any one of those two, but maybe he could develop into a solid slot or 4th corner. For now he’ll provide reliable depth while he develops. I even hear he could be used in the wildcat. He played quarterback in high school. Very interesting…
Jeris Pendelton. I did not know much about Pendelton. I just watched some of his game tape though. It seems Mr. Pendelton enjoys blocking kicks and stopping the run. He looks to have outstanding closing speed, and he’s not afraid to chase down runners. He uses sheer power to shed blockers and is disruptive in the backfield. Main thing about Pendelton that I like is his size. He has prototypical size for the position at 6’3 and 323 lbs. With some coaching, he could really turn into something good it looks. This one took some serious scouting from our personnel department.
I’ll be back Tuesday with a deeper look at these guys. All six picks should be able to fit and contribute immediately in one way or another while learning the pro game.
-David R. Johns