Will Groves Uphold Tradition for Jaguars?

Quentin Groves (Scout.com/Miller Safrit)

The Jaguars have had issues with drafting in the first-round which have been very publicized. What tends to not get as much press is the success that they've had in round two. Each of their six second-round picks since 2003, the first year of the Jack Del Rio administration, have been either starters or major contributors. Will the Jaguars latest second-round selection continue this success?

Whereas the Jaguars have had just two full-time starters come from their initial draft picks since 2003 (Marcedes Lewis and Reggie Nelson), their second-round picks have produced cornerback Rashean Mathis, linebacker Daryl Smith, fullback Greg Jones, left tackle Khalif Barnes, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, and linebacker Justin Durant. With that type of success coming from the second-round selections, great things are expected from former Auburn University defensive end Quentin Groves.

The former Auburn defensive end doesn't want to put too much pressure on himself, as he's certainly aware of the Jaguars need at his position. Still he knows that he must produce at his level. "It's a job we have to do," said Groves. "It's not unfair."

Expectations are high for Groves, who many felt would be a first-round selection. The Jaguars saw an opportunity to select him in round two and traded up with Tampa Bay to get ahead of both Tennessee and Pittsburgh, who were likely destinations for the pass rusher. Groves was asked if the Steelers were going to pick him, and he responded--"I think they were. I think they were looking for an outside linebacker."

Scout.com NFL Draft Expert, and former NFL Scout Tom Marino gave his take on Groves–

Former QB. Lean looking cut up athlete. Has a hot and cold playing motor. Undersized to factor as down linemen full time (not good match up) and needs space to operate, but has rare take off skills and the ability to close on the ball. Excellent playing range. Can retrace his steps and run down the ball carrier from the backside. Was run at some. Late 1st round consideration.

Despite the high expectations, Groves wants to take everything in stride.

"Know your roles," said the former Auburn pass rusher. "Don't try to make the Pro Bowl in your first year."

Since Groves was such a high draft pick and addresses the Jaguars most desperate position of need, he won't have to worry about making the roster like many of the other players on the Jaguars roster.

"I don't feel like I have to beat anybody out; not come in with a cocky attitude," said Groves.

Groves hopes that he can have some of the same success that his second-round predecessors have had, as Rashean Mathis is a former Pro Bowler, Greg Jones signed the richest contract in NFL history for a fullback, Daryl Smith, Khalif Barnes, and Justin Durant have become solid starters, and Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the team's most explosive weapons, and one of the faces of the franchise. Groves will have the benefit of entering his rookie season already on an established team in which he will be able to work himself in slowly, and much of the pressure will be on the team's first-round pick, fellow defensive end Derrick Harvey.

"I think it's a great situation," said Groves. "They built a great franchise. They were a couple of plays last year from the Super Bowl."

The Jaguars hope Groves can help take the team from a few play away, to Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII.


More notes and quotes on Quentin Groves from Scout.com:

Two weeks after the college draft and people are still talking about how defensive end Quentin Groves, the Jaguars' second-round pick, is going to fit into the team's 4-3 defense.

At 6-3, 260 pounds, Groves appears to be the ideal fit for a 3-4 defense. But Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has no concern with the selection of Groves and how he'll fit into the team's defensive alignment this year.

"He can play some end of the line 'Sam' but the way a 3-4 team might use him, you can do some of that if you're going to play a reduction front with that. But we didn't draft him with that in mind," Del Rio said. "We drafted him to be a right end, a pass rusher and a guy that if he shows he's capable of stacking the point and fending off tight ends, then we'll put him in position to make plays. We saw enough of that on tape, that he can stack the point. He did do 30 reps on the bench, he does roll his hips and when his hand placement is good, he has plenty of strength at the point."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We bring a lot of pressure, speed and power. He's a good player -- explosive, fast and he had a lot of sacks. We'll just try to use our athleticism to make plays." -- First-round draft pick Derrick Harvey talking about being paired with second-round pick Quentin Groves.

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