Despite personifying the hilariously inept era under former general manager Gene Smith, Tyson Alualu leaves Jacksonville after providing several years of commendable play.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith has been the point of ridicule for fans and the most widely used representation of his failures are his first round picks.
With hindsight, it’s not fair to lump in his first two picks with his last two. While both Monroe and Alualu never really developed into the kind of players that warrant a top 10 draft selection, both became solid contributors and have played in the league for a while. Gabbert and Blackmon have been phenomenal busts, with Gabbert arguably in contention as the worst quarterback in the history of the NFL.
Alualu gets bonus points for sticking around with the Jaguars as well – until now:
With the Jaguars beefing up their defensive line through both the draft and free agency in recent years, Alualu is the odd man out despite playing the good soldier over the last few years. Bouncing in and out in former head coach Gus Bradley’s insipid defensive scheme, Alualu was at his best when deployed as a rotational “big” end. Never great but always serviceable, Alualu was a victim of a freak injury during his rookie training camp that hamstrung his career.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- 3 potential trade partners for Jacksonville Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin
- Jaguars should explore trading for Michael Thomas amid Calvin Ridley suspension
- Jacksonville Jaguars named best fit for CB James Bradberry in 2023 NFL free agency
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram highlights discrepancy in WR and TE salaries
- Jacksonville Jaguars land DeAndre Hopkins in trade proposal to stop the KC Chiefs
In the Rotoworld blurbs, two consecutive notes show where Alualu’s career trajectory changed forever:
"> Tue, Aug 3, 2010Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu was working with the first team Tuesday in his camp debut.No surprise here. The rookie was a stud during offseason workouts and is clearly the best option to start despite missing a couple days while he held out. He’ll work next to Terrance Knighton in a duo that has quite a bit of upside."
Alualu looked like a terrific in his early practices, showcasing explosion and strength against veterans. Then:
">Mon, Aug 16, 2010"
"Jaguars first-round pick Tyson Alualu has missed most of training camp with a calf injury.The surprise top-ten pick is still expected to start Jacksonville’s opener. Without Alualu and RE Aaron Kampman, the Jags’ pass rush — much like last year — was nonexistent in last Friday’s preseason game against the Eagles."
Alualu missed practices because he suffered what was then not identified as a debilitating knee injury. That was back when then head coach Jack Del Rio still conducted the archaic “Oklahoma drill,” a vestige of football past.
Nobody knows how good Alaulu could have been if he never suffered that rookie injury, but we can at least say he served the Jaguars well in spite of the undue expectations levied on him.