It’s not always easy to track the progress of highly drafted offensive tackles compared to rookies that get stats.
But coaches speak loudest with playing time, and it wasn’t a good sign for Jaguars tackle pick Eugene Monroe that coach Jack Del Rio benched the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft last week for Tra Thomas. Monroe’s play — and playing time – has been inconsistent this year by most accounts.
Monroe has sometimes rotated on and off the field, and also didn’t start in Week Five. (He missed Week Four with an illness.)
Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union reports that Monroe will get his starting gig back this week. The Jaguars need better play from its young players if they are going to improve. Safety Reggie Nelson is another former first-round pick that has struggled, perhaps much more than Monroe.
Last year’s high picks on defense — Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves — also haven’t produced a lot. And they are the only two players left from Jacksonville’s draft class in 2008.
The quarterback and head coach will face a lot of heat for Jacksonville’s mediocrity the last two seasons, but the franchise’s struggles on draft day are mostly to blame.