The Jaguars currently have eight selections in this April’s draft, and just a few pressing needs. The team claims to be BAP (best available player) drafters, but their picks in the Del Rio era suggest otherwise.
Round 1, pick #26- Jaguars select Trevor Laws, DT Notre Dame
Rationale: Whereas the Jaguars don’t have a desperate need for a defensive tackle as much as they do for a defensive end, they can’t pass up a rising value like Laws in the first round. Laws is a shorter, powerful defensive tackle who was involved in nearly every play during his final two seasons at Notre Dame. Laws could be nearly as dominant as Glenn Dorsey without the health concerns. Note: In our mock draft, each of the top five rated defensive ends were already off the board.
Marino’s take: “Laws works his butt off. He has very good quickness, plays with leverage, and has good strength in his hands. Very intense and plays with great effort. Has limitations, but was a very solid football player overall.”
Alternatives: If Laws isn’t on the board at pick #26, the Jaguars could go with cornerback Aquib Talib from the University of Kansas, or possibly safety Kenny Phillips from the University of Miami. One other option could be former University of Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason, who could be a fine cover-two type of corner who possesses great kick return abilities.
Round 2, pick #58- Jaguars select Darrell Robertson, DE, Georgia Tech
Rationale: The Jaguars need to find pass rushers, and with only two first day picks, they can’t pass on a solid defensive end twice. Robertson is admittedly a bit of a reach in round two, but in our mock he was the highest rated defensive end still on the board.
Marino’s take: “Robertson is a very good athlete who played on his feet and covered a great deal of range. I liked his leverage and use of hands while meeting blocks. Does not convey speed to power at this time, but with maturity should develop.”
Alternatives: Some other options that were still on the board in our mock were Arkansas defensive tackle Marcus Harrison, and LSU wide receiver Early Doucet.
Round 3, pick #71- Jaguars select Josh Barrett, SS, Arizona State
Rationale: NFL Draft Expert Chris Steuber compares Barrett to deceased Washington Redskin Sean Taylor, as Barrett has similar playmaking skills and great speed.
Marino’s take: “Barrett has size, outstanding speed, and looks awfully pretty in a uniform, but he just didn’t make enough plays. Wasn’t very physical in his play or tough. He has great range and ball skills.”
Alternatives: Tom Zbikowski, SS, Notre Dame- Zbikowski is a smart, big hitting safety that plays the run well. Tough kid, almost a Donovin Darius type of clone. Another option could be Wake Forest center Steve Justice.
Round 3, pick #89- Jaguars select Kevin Smith, RB, UCF
Rationale: The Jaguars are going to have to start looking for a possible replacement for Fred Taylor sooner than later, and Smith was an ultra-productive back that has solid speed and is a very patient runner.
Marino’s take: “Smith has good vision, balance, and lower body surge. Can break secure tackles and finishes, but is not an elusive runner. Very strong-legged. Underrated and underappreciated player, not flashy, but does a lot of positive things.”
Alternatives: Hampton defensive end Kendall Lankford, who was a former teammate of Jaguars 2007 second-round pick Justin Durant, or Wake Forest defensive end Jeremy Thompson, who would likely be a much higher pick if it wasn’t for an ACL injury he suffered in 2005.
Round 4, pick # 125- Jaguars select O’Niel Cousins, G, UTEP
Rationale: Cousins is a powerful guard who happens the be the best player left on the board when the Jaguars select in round four. Whereas there isn’t a desperate need for a guard for Jacksonville, you can’t have too many talented big guys.
Marino’s take: “Cousins has good incline power and the ability to finish off people. Good hand placement and the ability to steer and stick on blocks.”
Alternatives: Texas offensive tackle Tony Hills, who is a medical project due to a broken leg, or Appalachian State wide receiver Dexter Jackson, who has speed to burn and would make an explosive return man.
Round 5, pick #143- Jaguars select Hilee Taylor, DE, UNC
Rationale: Taylor could be an explosive defensive end, and the Jaguars need people to rush the passer. Taylor could add competition to an unaccomplished group on the edge.
Marino’s take: “Taylor is an undersized nickel rusher with rare speed who was generally an ineffective run stopper. Plays high, but has a great first step.”
Alternatives: N.C. State defensive tackle DeMario Pressley could be a solid rotational guy for the Jaguars, or Appalachin State safety Corey Lynch could make an immediate impact on special teams.
Round 5, pick # 158- Jaguars select Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB, Boston College
Rationale: Dunbar is an overachiever who is undersized and compares favorably to Zach Thomas. Jacksonville can use some more depth at middle linebacker, and Dunbar could someday develop into a starter.
Marino's Take: Was a high effort, blue collar guy, who over the last two seasons has proven to be a very solid college football player. Playing stats and overall production have consistently proven to be better then his athletic ability, range and speed would indicate. Has position savvy but was not point strong. Has limited lower body strength and range. Didn't like his hand use and wasn't a big hitter. Was a high effort, blue collar guy, who over the last two seasons has proven to be a very solid college football pllayer. Playing stats and overall production have consistently proven to be better then his athletic ability, range and speed would indicate. Has position savvy but was not point strong. Has limited lower body strength and range. Didn't like his hand use and wasn't a big hitter.
Alternatives: Iowa defensive end Kenny Ibewema has solid athletic skills, but tends to take plays off. If properly motivated, he could have a solid NFL career. Another option is injured Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu, who after a year off for rehab, could be a very solid player.
Round 5, pick #159- Jaguars select Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii
Rationale: The Jaguars need to get younger at the quarterback position and Brennan could be a nice development project. He has a very accurate arm, but his throwing motion and small frame keep him from being a prototype prospect.
Marino’s take: “System quarterback who has at best an adequate arm and a very funky delivery. Deep arm was highly questionable, marginal ability to throw around defenders. Put up unbelievable throwing numbers, but poor performance at the Senior Bowl can not be overlooked.”
Alternatives: Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon was a Heisman candidate until a late season torn ACL derailed him. Dixon could make a solid project. Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk has a solid frame and great NFL genetics.