Jaguars Countdown to Draft

There is roughly 48 hours left until the start of the NFL Draft and no one can be sure what the Jacksonville Jaguars will do... and that includes the front office.

The team has a desperate need at defensive end, and they aren't in a great position to fill their need. Jacksonville showed mild interest in recently traded defensive end Jared Allen, who ended up costing the Minnesota Vikings one first-round pick and two third-round picks. Rumor has it the Miami Dolphins have been calling around the league, peddling defensive end and former defensive player of the year Jason Taylor reportedly for a first- round pick, and we've heard about the Jaguars interest all across the board as far as positions. The Jaguars really have a plethora of scenarios that could play out on draft day. However, if I were the main decision maker of the Jaguars on Day 1, this is what I would do...

My first order of business would be to phone the Miami Dolphins and offer my third (89th overall) and fifth-round picks (143rd overall) for Jason Taylor, the type of pass rusher the Jaguars desperately need. If Miami balks at that offer, the highest I would go is a conditional 2009 second-round draft pick based on Jason Taylor's performance and team performance. I would not give up anything more than that for a 33-year old defensive end. Many will argue the Jaguars first rounders have been mediocre at best under the Del Rio and Shack Harris regime, but you cannot send your first round pick off for a player who may only play one or two more seasons at a high level.

So it's now approximately 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, and it is about time for the Jaguars to select in the first-round at pick number 26, and since I've already acquired Jason Taylor my third and fifth-round selections (for this scenarios sake...). If I were in control, I would be on the phone before my clock starts with the Atlanta Falcons, who ideally will be looking to trade up back into the first round to draft Brian Brohm assuming they get their big guy in the first-round, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. The ideal and most logical trade would be the Jaguars giving up their first-round pick (26th overall, 700 points), third-round pick (71st overall, 235 points), and their fourth-round pick (125th overall, 47 points) for a total of 982 draft value points. In return the Jaguars would receive the Falcons second-round pick (37th overall, 530 points), another second-round pick (48th overall, 420 points), and their 5th round pick (138th overall, 37 points) for a total of 987 draft value points. For anyone wondering what the "draft value points" are, there is a system of assigning a point value to every pick in the NFL draft. Many, if not all teams, use this value chart when trading draft picks as a way to assess their overall value. When trading draft picks and only draft picks, generally the rule of thumb is to have the totals as close as possible in points, which in this case there is a difference of 5 points (982 vs. 987).

After all of this wheeling and dealing is done, the Jaguars are left with three second-round picks (37th, 48th, and 58th overall). This scenario allows the Jaguars to select quality players that fit need where the pick meets the value. Sure, Lawrence Jackson would be an acceptable pick at 26th overall, but he could possibly be had at 37th overall which suits his value much more than 26th overall. Are you confused yet?

Now, with these picks I have accumulated in the 2nd round this is how I would make my selections. With my first second-round pick (37th overall), I would draft safety Tyrell Johnson out of Arkansas State. The Jaguars have a need for safety depth, and possibly a starting safety if Gerald Sensabaugh cannot recover from his double shoulder injury. With my next second-round pick (48th overall) I would draft defensive tackle Trevor Laws out of Notre Dame. With the loss of Marcus Stroud the Jaguars are not necessarily with a hole at defensive tackle but, another very good player in the rotation would be significant, especially one who can disrupt in the backfield like Laws. Finally with the last second-round pick (58th overall), I would select defensive end Cliff Avril out of Purdue. Many will argue Avril is a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he played with his hand on the ground at Purdue as well as standing up. He is the kind of pass rusher off the edge the Jaguars need, and he could be groomed and worked in the line-up behind the newly acquired Jason Taylor.

All of these are possible scenarios, assuming Miami is willing to take less for their aging defensive end (that they need to get rid of), assuming Atlanta wants to go back into the first-round to get their quarterback, and assuming Tyrell Johnson, Trevor Laws, and Cliff Avril haven't been selected by the time the 37th, 48th, and 58th picks roll around.

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