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Team needs: Jacksonville Jaguars

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How’s this for a stat: Over the past three seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ win percentage in their final five games is .267 (4-11). They’re .500 in their first eleven (16-16). The Jags are like the anti-Chargers, but with just one playoff berth in the last five years.

We sense a shortage of mental toughness.

Regardless, this is a hole-filled roster. Let’s examine.

DB: Is there a worse defensive back unit in football right now? Jacksonville’s safety corps is easily the league’s poorest, and the cornerback position across from Rashean Mathis is a revolving door. Derek Cox and David Jones were shuttled back and forth at right corner a year ago, both struggling mightily. Cox can make plays on the ball, but his development as a cover man seems to have crashed to a halt. Considering his talent, Mathis is an underachiever. The Jaguars could use new starters at both safety spots and, at the very least, a young nickel back with long-term starting potential.

QB: After 76 career starts, we know what David Garrard is. Coach Jack Del Rio has continually acknowledged that Garrard isn’t capable of delivering consistent postseason appearances, let alone a shot at a title. Entering his age-33 campaign, Garrard should be viewed by this organization as no more than a quarterback capable of keeping the seat warm for a future starter. Unfortunately, the Jags have made no attempts to find a developmental signal caller. They haven’t drafted a QB since 2003. In any round.

WR: The Jaguars didn’t even extend free agent Mike Sims-Walker a restricted tender this offseason, indicating they have no plans to bring him back. That leaves diminutive Mike Thomas, injury-riddled Jarett Dillard, and drop-prone Tiquan Underwood as Jacksonville’s top returning wideouts, to go with Jason Hill. (Hill’s contract is up, but unlike Sims-Walker, he did get a restricted free agent tender.  UPDATE: Brain fart.  Hill got a two-year deal.)  If there is a weaker receiver corps in the NFL, we’d like to know.

LB: Middle man Kirk Morrison and weak-side ‘backer Justin Durant are both free agents. Durant is not expected back. Daryl Smith is locked in as Jacksonville’s strong-side starter, but behind him lies an unimpressive crew including Kyle Bosworth (yes, a “Boz” descendant), Jacob Cutrera, Alvin Bowen, and ‘tweener Raiders castoff Slade Norris. Former undrafted free agent Russell Allen would probably be the Jaguars’ starting middle linebacker if the season began today.

Overview: Defensive end is arguably another need with Aaron Kampman coming off his second ACL surgery in as many offseasons. The Jaguars ranked 30th in the league in sacks last year, and 32nd the year before. The No. 1 need position on this list would benefit greatly from an improved pass rush.

The interior offensive line is another sore spot.

G.M. Gene Smith surprised everyone by using last year’s No. 10 overall pick on Cal defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, who most projected as a top-50 selection but few considered a truly elite prospect. Smith is now viewed as a wild-card drafter. Don’t be surprised if he snaps up Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, or perhaps even a pre-draft riser like Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick or TCU’s Andy Dalton with this year’s 16th pick.

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20 Responses to “Team needs: Jacksonville Jaguars”
  1. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Apr 16, 2011 4:43 PM

    NO quarterbacks in almost ten years. That’s just…..I’m seriously speechless. David Garrard is not Peyton Manning.

  2. denverhighrize says: Apr 16, 2011 4:45 PM

    Gene Smith is a “wild card drafter”. That is hilarious. So baically they are saying this guy has no clue? Could you imagine this guy teamed up with Al Davis?

  3. denverhighrize says: Apr 16, 2011 4:59 PM

    Also another need for the Jaguars…New city.

  4. hedden93 says: Apr 16, 2011 5:03 PM

    We need a LB more than we need a WR but other than that I agree with this.

    LOL at the comments mocking Gene Smith even though they know nothing about him.

  5. tfmdrummer says: Apr 16, 2011 5:20 PM

    Who can question the pick of alualu though? hes one of the best young dt’s in the league already. next to knighton the jags have the best young interior.

    mike sims walker didnt produce in most games last year. its right to let him go.

    gene smith isnt a wild card drafter. he drafts proven, productive college players. he doesnt take shots on weight/height/speed guys.

    pft knows nothing.

  6. cylondetector says: Apr 16, 2011 5:31 PM

    David Garrard is capable of getting this team to a SB, if they had built a team round him.

    The D is woeful, Jax’s repeated failed attempts to draft pass rushers has left them woefully outmatched in a division containing Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub.

    Also, Del Rio’s Pittsburgh-lite offensive scheme might be good news for FF’s with Jones-Drew but doesn’t show the way forward in a pass happy league.

  7. moneymike23 says: Apr 16, 2011 5:45 PM

    Wow, how did this team end up being competitive at all last year.

  8. ta2ddad says: Apr 16, 2011 5:46 PM

    Eh denverhighrize you’re hilarious. You obviously know nothing about gene smith or the Jags!! Take a look at Gene’s 1st 2, being the Jags last 2 drafts genius!
    Next time save your comments for something you might have a clue about.

  9. dempsey63 says: Apr 16, 2011 5:53 PM

    I, too, am speechless.

    Ron Wolf frequently drafted quarterbacks in the later rounds here in Green Bay, allowed them to develop for a stretch, then traded them to other teams for useful picks. (Brunell, Brooks, Hasselbeck, et al, come to mind.)

    Currently, Matt Flynn (7th round) might command a top pick within a year’s time.

    Other teams, no doubt, employ a similar strategy. It makes sense to immerse a young player immediately into a team’s system and later keep him or trade him instead of paying big money for a veteran who has to ‘unlearn’ another team’s system and terminology and then learn the Jaguars’ system.

  10. esg6string says: Apr 16, 2011 6:25 PM

    The Eagles employ the same strategy as the Packers when it comes to QBs which makes sense since Reid came from that same tree.

    They traded AJ Feely for a 2nd rounder (thank you Miami) should get possibly a first for Kolb (while I wouldn’t trade a first for him I can easily justify seeing another team especially one that is desperate for a QB doing it) and they just drafted another guy last year who’s name I’m completely blanking on right now.

    I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t draft a QB period since 03. At the very least you could use a back up you’ve personally developed in your system. Maybe you get lucky and have someone who’ll replace your current starter if he’s not that good or getting on in year. And if you have a pro-bowler franchise QB you can trade the back up for another likely higher draft pick.

    Although I should be glad a lot of teams don’t follow this strategy because then the market for guys like Kolb wouldn’t be there

  11. islandjag says: Apr 16, 2011 7:20 PM

    why has jax needed to draft a qb

    in 03 we took one in the top ten

    who takes a qb in the next three years after that move

    we then found our starter on our own bench 5 years later. Since then we have free agents rookies, trades and veterens take snaps for jax. Whats the drama

  12. zoxitic says: Apr 16, 2011 8:19 PM

    Boy that write-up makes them sound like one awful mess, yet they won 5 of 6 games at one point and were one game away from winning the division. I’d say the future looks bright for this team.

  13. jvillenole says: Apr 16, 2011 10:03 PM

    It is obvious that Evan Silva really didn’t do his homework.

    Derek Cox and David Jones were not shuttled back and forth at right corner last year. Cox was out the first four weeks, and started the last 12 games when he came back. He played very solid, and is developing just fine. Mathis, on the other hand, has regressed dramatically in the last two years. Safety, however, was the main reason that the this defense had a horrible back end. Their BUST of a draft pick, Reggie Nelson, was ditched because of his horrible play, and safeties were the position which was shutlled in and out. Despite that, they might have found a good young talent in Green. He is bruiser, and came on strong toward the end.

    They haven’t drafted a QB becasue they are a RUNNING football team. That is the same reason that they haven’t drafted a WR in the early rounds since BUST Reggie Williams and BUST Matt Jones. This team was third in the league in rushing the football. If you run the ball that well, you don’t need a Manning. Besides, they haven’t had a top five draft pick in…well pretty much ever (not counting the expansion years).

    “Wild card drafter????” Are you serious? He is a “best available player” drafter, and his drafts have absolutely panned out. Alualu is a STUD, and is teams knew then what they know now, Alualu would be a top five pick last year. Further, just the year before, “Pot Roast” Knighton in the third round was genius. Everybody was asking “who is Knighton?” Now they know. Smith is an analytical drafter, who has nailed it two years in a row.

    As for WR…don’t forget about the Pro Bowl starter Lewis at TE, and the up-and-coming Zack Miller at Slot/TE.

    Really…reading this write-up you would think that this team was a joke. They were not a joke. They were a tough out after week four. They were 8-5 when their top player, MJD-who easily 30-40% of the offense is based upon, went down.

    Dissapointed in Silva. He obviously didn’t do enough research for a write-up on the Jaguars.

  14. jvillenole says: Apr 16, 2011 10:06 PM

    Forgot to comment on Special Teams. Easily one of the top three Special Teams units in the league. Easily!

  15. cane300 says: Apr 17, 2011 7:32 AM

    To help bolster @jvillenole (as if he needs it!) look a bleacherreport.com; when they redrafted 2010 Alualu goes 3rd! Only Braford and Suh before him.

  16. ar1888 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:58 AM

    You forgot to add fans that would actually buy tickets to see them play. And you might as well add tarps to the list so they can cover up the other half of the staduim, and still be blacked out.

  17. therillest says: Apr 17, 2011 11:52 AM

    I like Gene but I think you HOMERS are giving the guy a little too much credit. He has not drafted one legitimate Pro-Bowler (those were all Shacks picks last year). Also, Monroe has struggled and Cox (who cost the Jags a 3rd and 2nd round pick) is NOT, I repeat NOT developing as projected. Truthfully, Gene has yet to hit a homerun on any SKILL position player. Any jackass can drafted big guys in the 1st and 2nd rounds, but the real good GM’s know how to pluck those game breakers that take a team to the SuperBowl and excite the fan base. Truth be told we don’t know what Gene is yet, but some of you locals are just glad he is not Black, I mean Shack…..

  18. tremele says: Apr 17, 2011 8:44 PM

    @therillest…

    Like you said you don’t know what Gene is yet. Lets start with your comments.

    First off lets start with pro bowlers…what a joke that system is. Fred Taylor made it off default once, despite the fact that he is in the top 15 in rushing yards of all time. What a joke the league made by letting guys like you vote. Its a popularity contest.

    Derek Cox cost a 2nd round pick, not a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Please before you make yourself look like and ass, just do some research.

    To end, I love how you judge the guy and then end with “we don’t know what Gene is yet”? You spoke from your ass and still don’t have an idea of what you’re talking about. Please tell me, who is your team, and who is this “real good GM that knows how to pluck game breakers”. There is only one that I can think of but it wasn’t within his first 2 years.

    By the way, I’m not a local, I’m from Iowa.

  19. therillest says: Apr 17, 2011 10:49 PM

    You don’t know what in the hell you are talking about (so is MJD not an elite player because he made the probowl). I am a 7 year Jaguar season ticket holder and simply pointing out the facts. Now if you want to ride Genes junk then have at it. I am going to save my exuberance until he delivers me a playoff caliber roster. Also, being from Iowa you should fit right in when these locals….make sure you bring your on hood ;)

  20. ivedoneyourwife says: Apr 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    In my opinion, David Garrard, it’s psychological with him. When he’s good, he is spectacular. When he’s bad, he’s atrocious. I believe if there was some sort of head Dr. that could keep him consistant, or a mental toughness/ confidence/ focus coach, he would be elite.
    I say this because when he throws a pick, whether it be his fault or not, you can guarantee it will happen again. He has all the tools to be successful but tends to loose focus at crucial times of a game.

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