Former Jacksonville Jaguars DE Derrick Harvey earns dubious distinction
No NFL club has a perfect track record in the draft but the Jacksonville Jaguars often struck out late in the 2000s and for most of the 2010s. Not surprisingly, the Jags struggled to win games in that span. More often than not, their front office made puzzling decisions on Draft Day and while they had an alarming number of misses, Barry Wilner of The 33rd Team thinks that defensive end Derrick Harvey is the worst of the bunch.
Wilner recently drew up a list of what he thinks is every NFL team's worst draft mistake and believes that he Jags' biggest one was Harvey, the eighth overall selection in 2008.
"It was bad enough that they sent four draft picks to Baltimore to move up to No. 8 in the first round for Harvey. His uneventful three-year career included eight sacks total, while the Ravens used one of the selections from Jacksonville on Joe Flacco."
Harvey spent three seasons in Jacksonville. appearing in 47 games with 21 starts. He suited up for the Denver Broncos in 2011 but that was the last year he would play in the NFL.
Looking back, the first round of the 2008 draft wasn't stacked with talent but there were several players the Jaguars could have taken instead of Harvey. The worst part is that they didn't need to trade up 16 spots and would have been able to select a solid prospect, such as left tackle Duane Brown, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, or cornerback Brandon Flowers, all of whom went on to have productive NFL careers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have recently had a better track record in the draft
Even though Derrick Harvey is one of the worst picks in Jacksonville Jaguars' history, he faces tough competition. K'Lavon Chaisson could end up on that dubious list sooner rather than later. Similarly, defensive tackle Taven Bryan is a worthy contender for the distinction, and that's just in the last five years. Who can forget wide receiver Matt Jones or offensive tackle Luke Joeckel?
You could argue that it doesn't make sense to bring up the Jacksonville Jaguars' past failure when they are currently one of the hottest teams in the NFL. However, clubs that don't know their history are doomed to perpetually pick in the top 10. In the Jaguars' case, owner Shad Khan seems to have learned from previous hires.
Khan moved on from former general manager David Caldwell after failing to deliver results and brought in Trent Baalke to take his place. Even though the Jags went 3-14 in Baalke's first year at the helm and fans wanted him out, Khan kept him around. In retrospect, the decision paid off as Jacksonville went on to post their first winning season since 2017 last year.
It's possible that Khan figured out Baalke was the right man to lead the front office after watching Caldwell and Gene Smith fail spectacularly at their job. You have probably heard that the third time is the charm and that seems to be the case with Baalke.
With Baalke and head coach Doug Pederson leading the way, the Jaguars are poised to repeat as AFC South champions and return to the playoffs for the second straight year. This is why it's important to look at their past failures, so they can see how much they've grown since then.