This exhibition concluded what I like to call the "mini-combine" which gives teams and scouts significant time to evaluate players in a training camp setting. There were quite a few players the Jaguars had their eyes on, not surprisingly most of which on the defensive side of the ball.
While not officially the MVP of the game, the star of the game in my opinion was Tennessee State's Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie, or as most called him all week "DRC". Rodgers-Cromartie started the first half of the game with some great defensive plays in the secondary and a big time interception. He looked like his older cousin, Antonio Cromartie of the San Diego Chargers, showing similar game-changing ability. Rodgers-Cromartie, like his cousin, is an excellent athlete with great size for a defensive back (6'1", 185lbs.) and he also possesses the ability to play both cornerback and safety. There were concerns about his ability to tackle because of his size, but as shown in the game today, it was no real issue. Rodgers-Cromartie's ability to play multiple positions in the secondary gives him great value, and is something the Jaguars often look for in players. With an obvious need in the secondary, Rodgers-Cromartie looks like a star in the making and could easily get plucked out of the second round of April’s draft. He is also a dangerous return man, which basically makes it easy to say he looks like he is a clone of his older cousin.
Another player of interest is Georgia Tech inside linebacker Philip Wheeler. Wheeler had an good week of practice overall, showing very good explosion and quickness. While he had just three tackles in the game, Wheeler showed very good coverage ability, and could be an heir apparent to Mike Peterson. Wheeler also has very good size and is built well for an inside linebacker in the Jaguars scheme, measuring in at 6'2", 245lbs. at the weigh-in.
Christopher Williams from Vanderbilt, an offensive tackle who can play either side, could also be a player of interest for the Jaguars. He is a big, agile offensive tackle who has superb pass blocking ability, and is quick enough to wall off speed rushers, which is a problem current Jaguars left tackle Khalif Barnes has, aside from the twelve-packs. Williams consistently shut down the ends on his side during the game, namely defensive end/outside linebacker Cliff Avril out of Purdue, another player that the Jaguars are reported to have interest in. Williams also did a good job getting to the second level and blocking defensive backs and linebackers in the run game.
Another offensive tackle that can play either side the Jaguars showed a lot of interest in during the week was Boston College's Gosder Cherilus. Cherilus is a big, 6'6" 315lbs lineman with long arms. He excels at run blocking and shutting down the bull rush. Cherilus primarily played the right side during the game, but all week he flopped back and forth showing the ability to play either side.
There was no reporting of any Jaguars interest in USC's defensive end Lawrence Jackson, which we find strange, being that he plays what could be the position of greatest need for the Jaguars, his impressive week, and his school ties. He is not an elite pass rushing defensive end, but he shows ability to put pressure on the quarterback, and he is also very strong at the point of attack and stopping the run.
Over the next couple of month’s, through the NFL combine, pro-day’s, and pre-draft workouts, some of these players will rise, fall, then probably rise again. It is very likely that at least a couple of the players that were observed yesterday, and all week at the Senior Bowl will be selected by the Jaguars. We’ll keep an eye on these players and whoever else the Jaguars show even one iota of interest to.