Normally, draft picks are more valuable than actual players, being that the picks can be used to move up in the draft or replace a current player with a younger, less expensive player. In this particular case, trading a 24-year old, albeit injury prone defensive tackle is almost certainly worth more than the seventh-round pick the Jaguars are receiving as compensation.
If Tony McDaniel was on the verge of being released, moving him for a seventh-round pick would be considered a good move, as it was when the team dealt former and now current again running back Alvin Pearman to Seattle two seasons ago. In this situation, the team has very little depth at defensive tackle, and although McDaniel hasn’t lived up to the expectations that earned him a contract extension prior to last season, he is still a player with great upside.
Cultivating an undrafted free agent into a draft pick is a good thing. However, a player who hasn’t yet reached his potential in exchange for a draft pick in the 200’s doesn’t seem like a very good value unless there were some in mitigating circumstances that we weren’t made aware of.
Jaguars new general manager Gene Smith has made some bold moves this offseason, and many of them are focused toward a younger, less expensive, potentially more talented roster. However, trading away a low paid 24-year old defensive tackle for a seventh-round draft pick is a direct contradiction of the previous offseason focus.