Jaguars Setting The Draft Board

With a new coach and general manager the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking at all their options with the draft's eight pick. Which direction will they go? A source sheds light on the situation.

The new regime is taking a "best player available" approach throughout all seven rounds from what our source told us. After two key free agent signings (Mike Peterson and Hugh Douglas) most mock drafts have Marcus Trufant ending up with the Jaguars and while that may be a real possibility, it is not a definite.

Jacksonville would snatch up Byron Leftwich should he slide to the eight slot and he would immediately be ordained as their quarterback of the future. This even though the franchise believes David Garrard presently holds that title as the big armed passer from East Carolina is coming off a terrific mini-camp recently held and the team complex.

Jordan Gross is also a serious option being thrown about. What then would the franchise do with the pair of talented young tackles already on the roster (Mike Pearson, Maurice Williams)? Possibly move Williams into guard or replace Gross with Pearson (though a person familiar with the situation feels the latter is a mistake, and we agree).

If Terrence Newman slides to the Jags after recent revelations about his shoulder, Jacksonville feels they would be hard pressed to pass the cover corner up. Also factor in the potential to trade down or even trade away Mark Brunell if there are any suitors.

When we asked wouldn't taking Marcus Trufant in the first and a young quarterback (Ragone) or guard (Manuwai) in the second be a good combination for the team? The answer all came back to their draft strategy...only if they are the best player's available when Jacksonville is on the board.

Tony Pauline
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