Jags Still Paying For Past Mistakes

The bye week is a time of reflection. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio used it to admit the team made a mistake on draft day in 2008 to package seven draft picks to move up to draft Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves on the first two rounds.

Not only don't they have the seven picks they gave up -- a first, second, two thirds, fourth, fifth and seventh -- but Groves is gone and Harvey has been benched.

When they made the trade, they were coming off a playoff season in 2007 and Del Rio said at the time that the club was so strong that many of those picks wouldn't have made the team.

In reality, the team was growing old and went 5-11 and 7-9 the last two years.

Said Del Rio, "Hindsight is always 20-20 but looking back you'd have to say, yeah, we probably had underrated the number of players that we had that were getting up in their years and that weren't going to continue playing for a long time. And I would say that's absolutely something we have to admit looking back, that to package that many picks and try and move and thinking you're close, that's really not the sound way to do things. I think we gave in to maybe some of those thoughts, some of those feelings, but again, that is in the past."

The Jaguars thought they were a pass rusher from the Super Bowl in 2008, but it turned out they really needed to rebuild.

Since Gene Smith took over as general manager, the Jaguars try to hoard picks, not trade them.

"Clearly, the direction that Gene (Smith) is taking us is different and I applaud what Gene's been willing to do because he's done some things that maybe haven't been real popular but it's been the right thing, I think, in terms of if that's what you believe you should do it and don't necessarily take a straw poll or see which way the wind's blowing. And so I think that is good of him," he said.

The problem for Del Rio is that if they had kept those picks and hit on four or five of them, they might be a much stronger team.

The mistakes the Jaguars made that day -- and Del Rio signed off on the decisions of then vice president of player personnel Shack Harris -- are plaguing the team to this day.

And with the club at 4-4, Del Rio is handicapped in his bid to get the playoff record that he may need to save his job.

They have four division games left -- three on the road -- and go to the Giants.

That's five tough games and they need to go 6-2 to get the 10-6 mark that may be needed to make the playoffs.

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