Eli Apple will bring diligence to Jacksonville Jaguars
Eli apple is one of the better defensive backs available in the 2016 NFL Draft and his recent visit to the Jacksonville Jaguars helped hint at what could make him so appealing.
It isn’t every day when a player is asked what he brings to an organization that he chooses to highlight being a great teammate and focusing on being the best teammate in the locker room. But that is exactly what Eli Apple said in the promotional video for the Jacksonville Jaguars, highlighting his team-focused approach to football.
Apple’s play on the field with Ohio State speaks to that as well. In his two seasons with the Buckeyes, Apple had four interceptions and 17 passes defensed. Those numbers don’t jump off the page (one of the reasons he’ll be taken behind other top secondary prospects) but they do show production in a defense that helped shape Apple into being a team player.
That kind of approach is valuable to many teams, including a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that is still relatively young. Creating a bond among players as they grow together is critical for the franchise at this juncture.
Whether or not Eli Apple coming to Jacksonville is actually in the plans or not is another story. At the moment, he’s one of the best available secondary players regardless of whether he is taken at the end of the first round or early in the second.
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He has spoken that he is willing to buckle down and work hard to be a better player, citing his diligence as a key reason why teams should take him.
Eric Robinson at NFL Mocks agrees
, saying, “Apple has ability, potential, and the workman-like mindset to get better. Of course, you should know by now that you can’t teach size or arm length which Apple has and teams will love.” The combination of unteachable physical qualities and hard work make Apple a great consideration.
Robinson called him a diamond in the rough and that’s an apt phrase for Apple. In a draft crowded with gifted players on defense, Apple may well slide to a secondary-needy team like the Jaguars on which he can be an integral part of the team and grow into himself as a player.