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Tired of Safe Picks

28 April 2011

I've been waiting-and-waiting for someone to say it and nobody has so I will. The Jacksonville Jaguars are terrible at the NFL Draft. For some, that's heresy. You buy the draft guides and read the online reports and you hear a lot about how fantastic the scouting system is in Jacksonville but the reality is, I just don't see it.

2006: Six players taken and only two remain with the team.
2007: Eleven players taken and only four remain with the team.
2008: Five players taken and only one remains with the team.
2010: Six players taken and they COMBINED for 25-starts. It's looking like by next season maybe three of these guys will still be with the team.

Why? Because the Jacksonville Jaguars love the safe picks. Safe personal histories, safe college programs, safe talent. I understand, I'm all for doing the right thing and putting the right people in the right places but playing it safe over-and-over again is hard on fans. We don't expect the team to go and raid the prison leagues but what's wrong with bringing-in a guy that has a great personal history but a wealth of raw talent from a school nobody has ever heard of?

And look where safe has gotten the Jags. Sure 8-8 is a decent season and they had their opportunities to win the division but the defense was terrible. Even Washington looked great against it! If they had made the playoffs they would have looked worse than the Chiefs did.

So in this draft, I can see a focus on defense and hopefully a risk or two at the end.

Round 1: LB Akeem Ayers from UCLA. Big guy that can make plays and bring in some excitement. The Jags need all sorts of linebacker help so why not bring in a guy that can play the position and look great being the first guy off the bus.

Round 2: S DeAndre McDaniel from Clemson. Sure tackler that can fit in well just about anywhere in the secondary. That's helpful when you play Houston and Indianapolis twice a season.

Round 3: DE Pierre Allen from Nebraska. I discussed this last time; Peyton Manning+Chris Johnson = drafting a defensive end or defensive tackle every time the opportunity presents itself.

Round 4: LB Nate Irving from NC State. Can play linebacker and play on the line. Has good size, good speed, and can make a game changing play. The kind of linebacker the Jags have been missing for a very long time.

Round 4: CB Ryan Hall from Miami (FL). Under-rated and under-respected this guy is always around the ball and would be a great fit.

Round 5: QB Mitch Mustain from Southern Cal. If you're going to take a chance, take one on a guy that played quarterback at USC. Sure this guys a little bit of a wild card but this is a great opportunity to make a steal.

Round 6: WR Tori Gurley from South Carolina. Another risk, but this guy can stretch the field and that alone would be worth the price of a 6th round pick.

Tonight will tell. In a league where staying the same means you've regressed let's not settle for safe and take a risk or two.

Eric Tellez is a team reporter from Las Cruces, NM. He has been contributing to for 2-years. Please email him at to talk football anytime.


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