Jacksonville Jaguars

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20 August 2009

Preaseason Week 1: Finding Meaning in a Meaningless Affair

If you wind the calendar back 12 months, you’ll find that the only team to go undefeated during the 2008 preseason was, drum roll please…the Detroit Lions. That should tell you how little I read into the preseason as a whole. But I must admit, I watch the starters’ performance in every preseason game, looking for clues as to who’s up, who’s down, and who’s out. For example, Carolina’s run defense looked awful without Maake Kemoeatu, the Colts O line was a joke against the Vikings, the Saints’ Jason David (now released) is still garbage, and the Lions are still afraid to tackle Michael Turner. For Peyton’s sake, its only the first week of the preseason you say? You’re right, it’s still very early, so take these observations with a grain of salt, or a shot of tequila, or whatever you prefer.

After all the offseason retooling in the WR Corps, secondary, at OLB and in the interior O Line, I was anxious to see how the new pieces would fit, even if Jacksonville wasn’t going to provide the best barometer in the world. Miami was on defense first so I’ll start there:

Defensive Line:

The Jaguars pride themselves on being a physical team on both sides of the ball, they invested heavily in their O line during the offseason and they have one of the better running backs in the league in Maurice Jones-Drew. I was impressed by the Dolphins ability to stymie Jones-Drew on the few carries he had. Jason Ferguson was in mid season form, drawing double teams yet holding his ground, allowing the linebackers, Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele, clear paths to the ball. Randy Starks was all over the place, especially on passing downs. Starks registered two hits on the QB, and three pressures over all in just a handful of pass plays. Starks also drew a couple of double teams as the Jaguars adjusted to his total domination of RG Maurice Williams, creating one on one matchups for OLBs Jason Taylor and Joey Porter. Ex Jaguar Tony McDaniel played well in his first game as a dolphin, Phillip Merling? Cant say I noticed him much out there. I think its safe to say his job may be in jeopardy, especially if Starks and McDaniel continue to play well.

Outside Linebackers:

With Matt Roth sidelined because of his groin injury, Jason Taylor has stepped into his role as the edge setting, strong side, outside linebacker. Taylor made his presence felt almost immediately, holding his edge in textbook fashion and drawing a holding penalty on the second play of the game. Taylor was also in Jags QB David Garrard’s face on a couple occasions. He was there to help finish off a sack that was started by the blitzing CB Nathan Jones, causing Garrard to fumble in the process. Taylor looked good in coverage as well, he got a good jam on his receiver, and dropped into his zone, hips low, eyes on the QB, the man is a football player, period. Weak side OLB Joey Porter had a quiet night going up against Tra Thomas, though he did register a phantom sack when Garrard tripped over the leg of his lineman before Porter fell on top of him. Canadian import Cameron Wake got off to a rough start. On his first series, he failed to recognize that he was being chipped and was pancaked as a result. To his credit, Wake recovered nicely, beating Jags RT Tony Pashos around the edge repeatedly, he had at least one hit on the QB and a couple pressures in his first NFL action since 2006.

Inside Linebackers:

ILB is the least talked about position on the defense because there’s no real competition on the two deep depth chart. Crowder and ex Cowboy Akin Ayodele are starting, with Reggie Torbor and William Kershaw in reserve. Crowder had a solid night, he nearly had a sack when he blitzed and drove the FB into the QB causing a hurried throw and incompletion on a 3rd and 7. Crowder also filled his gap nicely in the run game and was able to diagnose a screen pass quickly, stopping the play for a two yard gain with an assist from Ayodele, who occupied two blockers allowing Crowder to close.

Secondary:

The good, (Will Allen/ Sean Smith/ Nate Jones ), the bad (Vontae Davis), and the ugly (Eric Green). Green, a free agent signee from Arizona was cut yesterday, less than 6 months after signing his deal. On the bright side, he immediately signed with the 49ers, who are hurting for cornerback help after the loss of their top cover man, Walt Harris. Will Allen allowed a short catch to Torry Holt but was solid overall. Sean Smith started the game and played well for most of the night, nabbing an end zone INT on an ill advised pass from Todd Bouman. I’d like to see Sean hit someone or at least use his shoulder pads, but its tough to nitpick his performance especially considering…Vontae Davis’ performance.

Vontae struggled all night, if he wasn’t allowing receptions (two), he was being flagged for pass interference (once), personal fouls (twice), or illegal blocks (once). Davis showed his ability to be physical when he flew in from his corner spot to torpedo a Jags running back for a short gain, but overall it was night to forget for the rookie first rounder.

The only time I noticed safeties Yeremiah Bell or Gibril Wilson was in run support, which is a good thing because it means their not being victimized in pass coverage or even thrown at for that matter. Wilson was one of the last starters to leave the game, though there wasn’t much of a drop off as both Tyrone Culver and Chris Clemons played well as reserves. Safety should not be a problem this year at all.

Offensive Line:

Where to begin? The dolphin O line looked overmatched at times in this game. They looked lost against some five man zone blitzes early, and they struggled to open any running lanes even after the Jags pulled their starters. In a matchup that he’s favored to win, LT Jake Long was schooled by Auburn product Quentin Groves. Groves beat Long to the inside to stuff a run, again to hit Ricky Williams for a loss, and he buldozed Long on another pass play, pushing Long into the QB's face and forcing a bad pass. Quentin Groves? I had to rewind the tape I dont know how many times before I believed it. LG Justin Smiley and C Jake Grove had trouble with their combo blocks, either Smiley was heading for the second level to quickly, or Grove was unable to gain leverage in time, either way its going to have to be fixed because several running plays were snuffed out by DT John Henderson. In addition, Smiley was blown up more than once, RT Vernon Carey struggled with blitz pick ups, and the only real bright spot was RG Donald Thomas, who spent half of training camp rehabbing an injured pectoral. Brandon Frye, the second string LT in this game, showed no love for Chad Henne by not even attempting to block his man on a second down pass play, forcing Henne to take a big hit and a mouthful of wet grass. Yummy. On the next play Henne was again pressured, this time he rushed his throw and it was picked off. All around this was a bad nigh for the O line, I’ll be watching them closely come Saturday.

Wide Receivers/TEs:

Ted Ginn and Davone Bess started the game and both played well. Ginn registered two first down catches, a first down run on a reverse, and a 36 yard pass interference penalty against a beaten Brian Williams. Had Pennington put any mustard on the throw it would have been a 98 yard touchdown. Brian Hartline and Patrick Turner made some nice grabs in the second and third quarters. Greg Camarillo, Pennington’s go to guy last year, was held out of the game as he continues to rehab his ACL. Anthony Fasano and David Martin were the top two TEs and there’s not alot to report there. A short catch for Martin, a few missed blocks by Fasano, the coaches were apparently not looking to involve them much. Ernest Wilford chipped in with a game winning touchdown grab, and John Nalbone added a few “look out” blocks, both are long shots to make the team.

QB’s:

Chad Pennington tried to hand the ball off to the wrong guy on a draw play, causing a fumble. He threw into triple coverage and was nearly picked off, but other than that he was solid. Had a nice drive in the middle of the first quarter that ended in a 48 yd FG.

The real drama concerned how Chad Henne and Pat White would play. Both played well with the exception of a the Henne INT and Pat White’s refusal to drop back after he’s handed the ball from center. I know White played in the shotgun at West Virginia, and he’ll be in the shotgun for most of his NFL career as well, but its painful to watch how slowly he gets from under center, its almost as if he’s afraid he’s going to fumble the snap. Henne led the only TD drive of the game for either team, in some pretty terrible conditions weather wise. His throws were sharp and he showed good pocket presence, not panicking under pressure (except for the INT), he should get another two quarters of action this week and I’ll be watching closely.

RB:

Another ho hum position on the team as of now. Its Ronnie Brown- Ricky Williams- Patrick Cobbs and that’s not up for discussion as far as the coaching staff is concerned. None of the backs could find any running room because of the OL struggles. On one play, Ricky Williams had to elide FIVE tacklers before he even got to the line of scrimmage, then he was tackled for a short gain after Jake Long inexplicably stopped blocking to turn around and watch the play. It looked like something out of a high school game. “If you wanna watch, buy a damn ticket!!!” My head coach would yell at the O linemen in the film room. I kind of felt sorry for them, and I think most if not all O line coaches turned head coaches are a little crazy. (Sorry Coach Vagotis).

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14 August 2009

2009 Preview- Jacksonville Jaguars Offense

Veteran Additions: LT Tra Thomas (Eagles). WR Torry Holt (Rams).

Veteran Losses: RB Fred Taylor. WR Matt Jones. WR Jerry Porter. WR Dennis Northcutt. LT Khalif Barnes. WR Reggie Williams. G Chris Naeole.

Offensive Line: The Jaguars will look to recapture their winning formula from the 2007 season by returning to the smash mouth style they used to go 11-5 and reach the second round of the playoffs that year. After riding their running game in 07, the Jags fell off last year, finishing 15th in rushing offense, 18th in passing, 20th in total offense, and 24th in scoring. Injuries along the interior O-line were largely to blame as center Brad Meester missed time early in the season, while guards Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams both suffered season ending injuries in the Week 1. Those losses forced the likes of Milford Brown and Teutan “Sam” Lewis into starting roles and they predictably struggled.

This year however, the O line should once again be a strength. On paper, it’s one of the deepest blocking units in the league. Tra Thomas and Tony Pahsos are accomplished veteran tackles, and with draftees Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton biting at their heels, they’ll have no choice but to play at a high level. On the inside, Vince Manuwai is back and Maurice Williams returns as well. Meester’s resigning shores up the center position, and Uche Nwaneri adds additional depth on the inside as one of the few Jags reserves who didn’t seem overmatched when pressed into a starting role last year.

Running Back Maurice Jones (MJR)- Drew signed a 4 year extension during the offseason and Fred Taylor was let go to make room for him at the top of the depth chart. Jones-Drew was a beast last year, leading the team with 842 yards on a 4.2 yards per carry average and 12 touchdowns. MJD was also second on the team in receptions with 62 for 556 yards and another two scores. In addition to being a dual threat RB, MJD is a devastating pass blocker, in the same category as Marion Barber and Clinton Portis. Given MJD’s aggressive running style, it’ll be important that the Jags have a reliable back up to spell him.

FB Greg Jones was a standout tailback at Florida State and is likely to see more carries, perhaps in the Jags Ace (two TE) package. 7th round picks Chauncey Washington (2007) from USC and Rashad Jennings (2008) from Liberty will compete for the 2nd tailback role. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not MJD remains the teams third down back. He was one of the better players in that role in the entire league last year, but durability concerns may force the Jags coaching staff’s hand. If that’s the case, either Washington or Jennings will be asked to step up.

Wide Reciever: The WR position will continue to be an area of concern in 2009 as Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt and Jerry Porter have all been released or traded. Rookies Mike Thomas from Arizona and Jarett Dillard from Rice may be asked to contribute immediately because outside of free agent signee Torry Holt and the unproven Mike Walker (16 career rec.), the Jags cupboard is bare at the receiver position. TE Marcedes Lewis (41 rec- 489 yds 2 TD in 2008) should see more balls coming his way, especially if opposing teams focus their attention on Holt. 6th Round draft choice Zach Miller is the 2nd TE, and could also be featured as an H back.

Quarterback In my opinion, David Garrard is one of the more underrated QB’s in the league. Even the best QB’s will struggle when they aren’t well protected, and Garrard was under siege for much of last year. Add to that a WR corps that struggled to get open and rarely made catches even when they did, and its no surprise that Garrard struggled last year. Last season Garrard threw 13 interceptions in 535 attempts (1 per 41 att) after throwing just three picks in 325 attempts in 2007 (1 per 108 att). His completion percentage dropped from 64 to 62.6, and his sack totals doubled from 21 (1 per 15 att) to 42 (1 per 12.7 att). The higher INT/Sack percentages are a byproduct of the Jags being behind the chains/in long yardage situations, and behind on the scoreboard. If the Jags can return to running the ball and protecting the QB, then Garrard‘s numbers should improve significantly.

When he has time, Garrard is an efficient and accurate QB, especially in the short to medium and play-action pass games. Garrard is a better than average scrambler, he does a good job of gaining positive yards when a play breaks down. But more importantly, he’s able to move well within the pocket to give his receivers additional time to uncover downfield. Garrard’s ability to extend plays will be a key to the Jags’ success because the WR corps lacks a bonafide deep threat, and as a group they may to struggle to create separation again this year.

Overall If for no other reason than its good health, the Jags offense compares favorably to the unit that struggled for much of 2008. MJD should have plenty of running room behind a revamped offensive line, and could reach or surpass the 4.6 yards per carry he totaled in 2007. MJD’s success in the run game is vital because the Jags will need to control the ball on offense to protect their young defense, a unit that may struggle against the some of the leagues better offenses, two of whom (Texans & Colts) reside in the Jags division. If opposing teams become focused on stopping the run, the Jags’ play action/ short-medium passing game should be sufficient to move the ball and convert on third downs.

Again, how long the Jags can stick with the conservative approach will depend on their defense, and the offense will struggle if its asked to do too much. The Jaguars do not have the weapons to play from behind or engage in shootouts. In order to be successful they must run the ball early and often, convert third downs, and avoid penalties & turnovers. If they can do those things, the Jags could be a surprise team this year (see Atlanta/Miami 2008), if not it’ll be another double digit loss season, because the AFC South is a one of the leagues toughest divisions, and any team that struggles will be buried in the standings by November.

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23 July 2009

2009 Preview- Jacksonville Jaguars Offense

Veteran Additions:

LT Tra Thomas (Eagles). WR Torry Holt (Rams).

Veteran Losses:

RB Fred Taylor. WR Matt Jones. WR Jerry Porter. WR Dennis Northcutt. LT Khalif Barnes. WR Reggie Williams. G Chris Naeole.

Offensive Line:

The Jaguars will look to recapture their winning formula from the 2007 season by returning to the smash mouth style they used to go 11-5 and reach the second round of the playoffs that year. After riding their running game in 07, the Jags fell off last year, finishing 15th in rushing offense, 18th in passing, 20th in total offense, and 24th in scoring.

Injuries along the interior O-line were largely to blame as center Brad Meester missed time early in the season, while guards Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams both suffered season ending injuries in the Week 1. Those losses forced the likes of Milford Brown and Teutan “Sam” Lewis into starting roles and they predictably struggled. This year however, the O line should once again be a strength. On paper, it’s one of the deepest blocking units in the league. Tra Thomas and Tony Pahsos are accomplished veteran tackles, and with draftees Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton biting at their heels, they’ll have no choice but to play at a high level. On the inside, Vince Manuwai is back and Maurice Williams returns as well. Meester’s resigning shores up the center position, and Uche Nwaneri adds additional depth on the inside as one of the few Jags reserves who didn’t seem overmatched when pressed into a starting role last year.

Running Back

Maurice Jones-Drew signed a 4 year extension during the offseason and Fred Taylor was let go to make room for him at the top of the depth chart. Jones-Drew was a beast last year, leading the team with 842 yards on a 4.2 yards per carry average and 12 touchdowns. MJD was also second on the team in receptions with 62 for 556 yards and another two scores. In addition to being a dual threat RB, MJD is a devastating pass blocker, in the same category as Marion Barber and Clinton Portis.

Given MJD’s aggressive running style, it’ll be important that the Jags have a reliable back up to spell him. FB Greg Jones was a standout tailback at Florida State and is likely to see more carries, perhaps in the Jags Ace (two TE) package. 7th round picks Chauncey Washington (2007) from USC and Rashad Jennings (2008) from Liberty will compete for the 2nd tailback role. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not MJD remains the teams third down back. He was one of the better players in that role in the entire league last year, but durability concerns may force the Jags coaching staff’s hand. If that’s the case, either Washington or Jennings will be asked to step up.

Wide Reciever

The WR position will continue to be an area of concern in 2009 as Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt and Jerry Porter have all been released or traded. Rookies Mike Thomas from Arizona and Jarett Dillard from Rice may be asked to contribute immediately because outside of free agent signee Torry Holt and the unproven Mike Walker (16 career rec.), the Jags cupboard is bare at the receiver position. TE Marcedes Lewis (41 rec- 489 yds 2 TD in 2008) should see more balls coming his way, especially if opposing teams focus their attention on Holt. 6th Round draft choice Zach Miller is the 2nd TE, and could also be featured as an H back.

Quarterback

In my opinion, David Garrard is one of the more underrated QB’s in the league. Even the best QB’s will struggle when they aren’t well protected, and Garrard was under siege for much of last year. Add to that a WR corps that struggled to get open and rarely made catches even when they did, and its no surprise that Garrard struggled last year.

Last season Garrard threw 13 interceptions in 535 attempts (1 per 41 att) after throwing just three picks in 325 attempts in 2007 (1 per 108 att). His completion percentage dropped from 64 to 62.6, and his sack totals doubled from 21 (1 per 15 att) to 42 (1 per 12.7 att). The higher INT/Sack percentages are a byproduct of the Jags being behind the chains/in long yardage situations, and behind on the scoreboard. If the Jags can return to running the ball and protecting the QB, then Garrard‘s numbers should improve significantly.

When he has time, Garrard is an efficient and accurate QB, especially in the short to medium and play-action pass games. Garrard is a better than average scrambler, he does a good job of gaining positive yards when a play breaks down. But more importantly, he’s able to move well within the pocket to give his receivers additional time to uncover downfield. Garrard’s ability to extend plays will be a key to the Jags’ success because the WR corps lacks a bonafide deep threat, and as a group they may to struggle to create separation again this year.

Overall

If for no other reason than its good health, the Jags offense compares favorably to the unit that struggled for much of 2008. MJD should have plenty of running room behind a revamped offensive line, and could reach or surpass the 4.6 yards per carry he totaled in 2007. MJD’s success in the run game is vital because the Jags will need to control the ball on offense to protect their young defense, a unit that may struggle against the some of the leagues better offenses, two of whom (Texans & Colts) reside in the Jags division.

If opposing teams become focused on stopping the run, the Jags’ play action/ short-medium passing game should be sufficient to move the ball and convert on third downs. Again, how long the Jags can stick with the conservative approach will depend on their defense, and the offense will struggle if its asked to do too much. The Jaguars do not have the weapons to play from behind or engage in shootouts. In order to be successful they must run the ball early and often, convert third downs, and avoid penalties & turnovers. If they can do those things, the Jags could be a surprise team this year (see Atlanta/Miami 2008), if not it’ll be another double digit loss season, because the AFC South is a one of the leagues toughest divisions, and any team that struggles will be buried in the standings by November.

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15 may 2009

 

Jaguars Sign 18 Undrafted Free Agents

In my view, there is a fine line between using undrafted free agents to find diamonds in the rough or provide training camp bodies, and desperately searching for scrap heap rookies to help fill out a shaky roster. If the Jaguars haven’t crossed that line, they are dangerously close to it. Good teams with good depth seldom need much retooling, and signing 18 undrafted free agents is not a good sign. It’ll be interesting to see how many of these long shots make the team, but the Jags will certainly have one of the more competitive and exciting training camps in the league.

OFFENSE:

RB Kyle Bell 6’1” 223  Colorado St.

RB Brock Bolen 6’0” 235 Louisville

RB Michael McClenton 5’11” 252 N. Alabama

TE Lorenzen Tyler 6’5” 226 Connecticut

WR Maurice Dupree 5’10” 168 Jacksonville St.

WR Jason English  5’10” 188 Tuskegee

WR Todd Petersen 6’4” 215 Nebraska

C Cecil Newton 6’2” 300 Tennessee St.

DEFENSE:

DE Jeremy Navarre 6’3” 283 Maryland

DE Julius Williams 6’2” 260 Connecticut

DE George Hypolite 6’1” 299 Colorado

LB Russel Allen 6’3” 230 San Diego St.

LB Johnny Williams 6’2” 236 Kentucky

DB Donald Weldon 5’10” 185 La Tech

DB Michael Desormeaux 6’) 204 Louisiana Lafayette

DB Mesphin Forrester 6’0” 202 Washington

DB Pete Itersagen 5’10” 191 Wheaton

DB Kevin Patterson 5’10” 185 Wake Forrest

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28 April 2009

Jacksonville Jaguars Post Draft Grades & Analysis
 
Draft day is no doubt one of the most exciting days of the NFL season. Fans from all 32 teams tune in to see who their new additions will be, and they’re all ready to be infused with the perennial optimism that is always there in the last week of April each off season. Predictably, each team leaves draft weekend gushing about how much they “loved” the guys they drafted, how high on their boards each draftee was, and how they expect to be a much improved team in the upcoming year. I call it politics as usual.

It’ll be years before an accurate assessment of each teams draft success can be made, but the draft offers useful insight into where each team believed it needed to improve the most, as well as which direction the team is planning to go in the upcoming season. The Jags draft started with a bang, fizzled, and then picked up steam again in the later rounds. I’ll be going into detail about what the Jaguars did, where they are going, and how they plan to get there. I’ll also attempt to put the Jags’ moves into a broader context, by measuring their additions against the draftees of their division and in state rivals, the teams Jacksonville will be competing against for wins, fans, media and attention.

Round 1 Eugene Monroe OT, Virginia

Jags GM should add Marvin Lewis and the Bengals front office to his Christmas list after Cincinnati passed on Monroe to select the iffy (LT/RT?) Andre Smith. I’d mocked BJ Raji to the Jags here because I never thought Monroe would fall to pick 8. But he did, and Smith snatched him up quicker than Khalif Barnes could get out of his stance at LT last year.  GRADE: A

Round 2 Eben Britton OT, Arizona

This pick is hard to get read on. I understand the logic, but I still don’t like the pick. Tony Pashos is a decent RT, Jacksonville signed Tra Thomas in the off season to play LT, and they took Monroe in round 1, which means he’ll be getting a cool 30-40 million to sign a deal. I’m sure Britton was at the top of their board, but Smith clearly did not factor positional value into his pick, because the value on this selection is terrible. The Jags have four starting caliber T, meaning two of them will have to be shifted inside to guard or put on the bench. The guard spot is already crowded with Brad Meester and Vince Manuwai. Meester’s a solid contributor, and Manuwai, though lost to injury last season, was one of the better guards in the league before going down. So while Britton may have been the best player on the board, his PV stinks because he wont do nearly as much to make the team better as say a WR, TE, CB, or LB would have. GRADE: D

Round 3 Terrance Knighton DT, Temple

Jacksonville’s run defense was not the same without the John Henderson - Marcus Stroud combo last year. This pick is a tacit admission of that, and a shot across the bow of  Rob Meier, a high motor guy who was nonetheless exposed last year. Knighton moves incredibly well for a man his size, and will fit in nicely along the Jags front line.  GRADE A

Round 3 Derek Cox CB, William & Mary

The Jags have never been shy about reaching into the small school talent pool for players, and Cox is another example of this. The positional value here is excellent as J’ Ville is hurting at CB, especially with Rashean Mathis coming off of an ACL injury. GRADE: INCOMPLETE With so many other, more heralded players available, I feel like Cox is a reach, but I’ll reserve judgment until I have more info on him.

Round 4/5 Mike Thomas WR, Arizona & Jarrett Dillard WR, Rice

This is another head scratcher. Torry Holt received 20 million from the Jags, then Gene Smith turns around and drafts not one but two recievers with similar size/skill sets to Holt’s. I understand the potential is there. I like Thomas, and I love Dillard, but David Garrard needs wideouts to throw to this year, not at some future date yet to be determined. Holt and Dennis Northcutt are both smallish, quicker than fast, possession type wideouts. What Garrard needs is a big target a la Matt Jones. Mike Walker is being groomed to take on that role but he hasn’t done anything in the league yet. Garrard could also use a speedy, field stretching WR who can make teams pay for crowding the box to stop Maurice Jones-Drew and his 19 offensive tackles. Drafting/signing a bunch of players with the same skill set, at the same position makes no sense. Positional value apparently means nothing to Gene Smith. GRADE C-

Round 6 Zach Miller TE, Nebraska Omaha

No relation to the Raiders version, at least not that I know of. I hate to harp on this again, but the positional value here is not good. At 6-4 233, Miller projects as primarily a pass catching threat, he’s too light in the keyster to do much else. The Jags spent a 1st round pick on Marcedes Lewis, a pass catching TE, in 2006, making this a superfluous pick. But in the 6TH round, its hard to raise much of a stink about it, except that this is right around the time that Tom Brady was selected, wasn’t it?  GRADE C

Round 7 Rashad Jennings RB, Liberty & Tiquan Underwood WR, Rutgers

I like the Jennings pick, he’s a RB that doesn’t shy away from contact, that can spell Jones-Drew and keep him from wearing down over the course of a game, or a season. I would like to have a seen a smaller, quicker, change of pace style back like Mike Goodson from Texas A&M, but you can never have enough bangers in the NFL, where many players eschew the form tackle late in games. In addition to Jones-Drew and Jones, Greg, Jennings can give defenses another reason not to wrap up in the 4th quarter of games. Underwood played under the shadow of Kenny Britt at Rutgers, and is a project wideout who should be able to contribute on special teams, if he wants to make the team that is. GRADE B+

OVERALL GRADE: C+

Any draft where you can acquire a franchise player at QB, LT, CB, or pass rusher is a success, regardless of what else happens. But the Jags squandered an opportunity to have an A draft by double dipping on the T spot in round 2. Hypothetically speaking, Gene Smith could’ve passed on Britton, and taken a better player at each position ( an entire round better) for the rest of the draft. The Jags could have had Ron Brace in the 2nd instead of Knighton in the 3rd. Brandon Tate, Mike Wallace, Ramses Barden or Pat Turner in the 3rd instead of Mike Thomas in the 4th, and so on. Despite the errors, which can be expected from a first year GM, the Jags managed to come away with a handful of players who should be able to contribute right away, especially since the there are so many holes on the roster. The Jags’18 undrafted free agent signees aren’t just  training camp cannon fodder, they’re a cry for help. There are at least a dozen roster spots up for grabs this summer/fall, so Jacksonville should have one of the more exciting and competitive training camps in the entire league.

NEXT: AFC South Grades

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