Draft Grader: Jacksonville Jaguars
Draft season is upon us as free agency quiets down and prospect watch goes into overdrive. The reality is we’re not that involved in the College side of things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not fans of the draft.
For me that means reflecting back on drafts gone by to tell you which teams made the best picks and which ones the worst. So as I do every year I’m grading every draft pick from 2009 through to 2011 on the PFF rating scale (-2.0 to +2.0), factoring in where they were drafted, injuries and a host of other things.
Next in line, the Jacksonville Jaguars
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Not even close …
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
He shoots, he misses …
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
And they draw another blank …
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Eugene Monroe, OT (8th overall pick in 2009): Monroe has developed into a very good left tackle, little more than you’d expect from the eighth overall pick in any draft. Part of the problem though is that when faced with elite competition, he often lost the battle in pass protection. Still, he was more than good enough the rest of the time that he justified his selection and then some.
Terrance Knighton, DT (72nd overall pick in 2009): As a rookie Knighton would start all 16 games, including the early season encounters that saw the Jaguars utilize a 3-4 front. He quickly made himself a staple of the defense, but his play never really kicked on after that impressive introduction. His time in Jacksonville was characterized by weight problems and fits of excellent play before he was allowed to walk at the end of the 2012 season. It could have been so much more.
Mike Thomas, WR (107th overall pick in 2009): So it kind of all went wrong for Thomas after the 2011 season, but two years of solid production as a receiver and on special teams represents a win from a fourth-rounder. Indeed only three players from the 2009 fourth-round would end up playing more snaps for the team that drafted them than Thomas.
Cecil Shorts, WR (114th overall pick in 2011): Shorts has developed into a starter who is ideally suited to making big plays, as opposed to making a lot of plays. After a tough transition to the NFL in his rookie year he really caught the eye with his work in 2012 that should have seen him earn more than the 664 snaps he did. He’s fallen back down to Earth a little in 2013, but found his role with the team.
0.0: It could have been worse
Derek Cox, CB (73rd overall pick in 2009): When you talk about a cornerback asked to do too much, too soon, Cox is the poster child. His debut season, which saw him earn every bit of a -14.3 coverage grade, was hard to watch at times, but it did get better from there. Chiefly that was his 2011 season where he flashed some talent in a 337 snap cameo, but there is too much bad tape out there to go any higher than this.
Jarett Dillard, WR (144th overall pick in 2009): The team appeared high on him, with the fifth-round rookie even getting on the field for 75 snaps in his first year before injury cut short his season. He would then miss the 2010 season and that was about it for him in Florida.
Zach Miller, TE (180th overall pick in 2009): The former college quarterback ended up with 519 snaps spread across three years, becoming the kind of player who rarely stuck out for good or bad. By no means a bad pick he just didn’t offer enough to be more.
Rashad Jennings, HB (250th overall pick in 2009): Seen as something of a steal at the time and a player who would go on to impress in Oakland, Jennings was woefully underutilized as the team ran the MJD well dry. When injury prevented him with a chance to start in spots in 2012 the team just couldn’t commit to him, leaving him with just 23 carries that season.
Tiquan Underwood, WR (253rd overall pick in 2009): Underwood’s 11 snaps as a rookie acted as a tease to his 2010 season where he would get on the field on offense for 283 snaps. While he would have some success elsewhere his time in Jacksonville saw him catch just 8-of-21 targets while dropping three passes.
Austen Lane, DE (154th overall pick in 2010): Would play 816 defensive snaps for the team before a scheme change on defense saw him rendered a bad fit in Jacksonville. While he never blew you away with his play on the field, he was close to earning a positive for his solid enough work against the run in that period.
Deji Karim, HB (181st overall pick in 2010): Every carry seemed a wasted one as he turned his first two years into a -6.2 rushing grade. Karim did handle return duties, but failed to set the world alight in that regard. A sixth-round pick that didn’t work out.
Scotty McGee, KR (204th overall pick in 2010): We’ll give the team a pass here as various injuries kept McGee in the treatment room instead of on the playing field.
Chris Prosinski, S (121st overall pick in 2011): With 970 snaps, they’ve got more out of him than you’d tend to from a fourth-round pick. It just hasn’t been to a level (-10.4 overall) that would make you think this pick was a win. Has become more of a special teamer, than defensive starter with three more special teams tackles than on defense.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
D’Anthony Smith, DT (75th overall pick in 2010): Much was expected of Smith and in the end just 101 snaps were played. You can blame a lot of this on injuries (he spent his first two years on injured reserve and ended his third season there), but the team clearly never saw enough talent in him as they cut him when he was healthy after he didn’t take advantage of his 84 snaps in preseason.
Larry Hart, DE (144th overall pick in 2010): Clearly the team figured Hart would catch on as a situational pass rusher, going so far as to give him 209 snaps as a rookie. He even got 17 quarterback disruptions, but that was all he ended up with as a year later the team cut this former fifth rounder before the start of the 2011 season.
Rod Isaac, CB (147th overall pick in 2011): Another Jaguar gamble that didn’t pay off as the man from Middle Tennessee State University would never step onto the field for the team before being cut before the start of his sophomore season.
-1.0: What a waste!
Eben Britton, RT (39th overall pick in 2009): Part of the teams plan to get younger at the tackle spot, Britton actually had himself a decent year though in hindsight those concerns about his pass blocking should have been a bigger red flag. In 2010 he was limited to just 432 snaps, which was followed up by just 192 a year later as he struggled getting healthy. Unfortunately, when he did get healthy and the team moved him to guard it resulted in some truly atrocious play, picking up a -17.2 grade on just 273 snaps. Ouch.
Will Rackley, OG (76th overall pick in 2011): There won’t be many third-round picks who have played as much as Rackley (1,621 snaps over three years) that get this grade. That’s an indication of how bad Rackley has been as he would finish our lowest ranked guard in 2011 and third lowest in 2013 (saved by missing time). His presence on the field has hurt the team.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Tyson Alualu, DT (10th overall pick in 2010): Seen as a reach at the time, Alualu started off his career proving those who doubted him wrong. Unfortunately he seemed to peak in the first five weeks of his career, with his play going rapidly downhill after that. Before switching to a five-technique defensive end in 2013, his work in 2011 and 2012 at defensive tackle earned a -28.4 grade. A top 10 pick that is a below average starter is a failed pick, so one who has performed so badly has to get this grade.
Blaine Gabbert, QB (10th overall pick in 2011): It tells you something when you trade away a former 10th overall pick three years into his career for a sixth-round pick and it’s greeted as a win for your organization. I’m not qualified to speak as to what people saw in Gabbert in college, but clearly it didn’t translate into the NFL. Looking like a deer in the headlights from moment one, his selection (as it often does when you get it wrong on a QB in round one) set the team back years, and put them in a spot they’ve been trying to recover from ever since.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
It was close …
Here are links to the teams that have been through the Draft Grader to date:
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