"We Scout the Player, Not the School"

The Jaguars rookie class may not make an impact on opening day, but it wouldn't be surprising if all five players start at some point in the season. Find out what the Jags front office had to say about their picks.

-The Jaguars had a draft that is likely to pay big dividends for the 2012 season.

But it remains to be seen how much help the five-player draft will give them this year.

They gave up a second-round pick to move up six spots to draft Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick in the draft and then they gave up a sixth-round pick to move up and take guard Will Rackley of Lehigh in the third round.

Gabbert was the best quarterback in the draft on the Jaguars' board and they expect him to be the franchise quarterback of the future, but he may not be ready to beat out David Garrard this year.

And they think that Rackley will eventually be a starter at guard although they still have two veterans, Vince Manuwai and Justin Smiley, at guard.

They then drafted wide receiver Cecil Shorts III of Mount Union on the fourth round to compete for the third receiver slot and safety Chris Prosinski of Wyoming to compete for a starting job.

They wrapped up the draft by selecting cornerback Rod Issac of Middle Tennessee State in the fifth round. He'll compete for a nickel spot.

They also didn't get much immediate help for their shaky defense that ranked 28th last year, although general manager Gene Smith said they will add defensive help in free agency once the draft ends.


Quarterback Blaine Gabbert: They hadn't drafted a quarterback since they picked Byron Leftwich in 2003. Gabbert is expected to be their quarterback of the future and be the face of the franchise. They had him rated as the best quarterback in the draft so it was worth the second-round pick they gave up to get him. Now he has to live up to their expectations.


Safety Chris Prosinski: He wasn't invited to the combine, but he was the only safety the Jaguars drafted. So he has a chance to win a starting job since safety is their weakest position.

A closer look at the Jaguars: picks:

Round 1/10 - Blaine Gabbert, QB, 6-5, 242, Missouri

The Jaguars had him rated as the top-ranked quarterback in the draft and expect him to be their franchise quarterback for the next decade although he may sit behind David Garrard his rookie season.

Round 3/76 - Will Rackley, G, 6-3, 309, Lehigh

The first Lehigh player drafted since 1995, Rackley is expected to be a starter in a year or two at left guard and will compete this season with veterans Vince Manuwai and Justin Smiley for a starting spot.

Round 4/114 - Cecil Shorts III, WR, 6-0, 202, Mount Union

The first Division III player the Jaguars have drafted and only the 11th in the league in the last 15 years, Shorts is expected to compete for the No. 3 wide receiver position.

Round 4/121 Chris Prosinski, S, 6-1, 201, Wyoming

Prosinski was the only safety the Jaguars drafted and since that was one of their weakest positions, he has a chance to come in and fight for a starting job.

Round 5/147 Rod Issac, CB, 5-11, 196, Middle Tennessee State.

Started all 25 games the past two seasons and he will compete for a nickel job.


--The Jaguars didn't fill their holes on defense as they were only able to find two defensive players in the draft because general manager Gene Smith follows the best available athlete strategy and wouldn't reach for a defensive player to fill a need.

But Smith said that when the lockout ends, the Jaguars will be players in free agency and hope to find two to four defensive players.

"We will be a better team than last year on defense," he said.

--For a coach on a hot seat like Jack Del Rio, this draft didn't give him a lot of immediate help. But he said he has no problem with the team looking for long-term help rather than make short-term decisions.

"I think Mr. Weaver (Owner Wayne We aver) pays me to make decisions that are in the best interests of this football team and not always best for me as a person and individually as a coach. In the end the things that we're doing right now are very sound and they're the right things to do. I support it 100 per cent," he said.

He added, "I ask our players all the time to be unselfish and to do what's best for the team. That's what I'm doing myself. I'm not going to ask them to do something I wouldn't do myself. We're going to sacrifice where we need to."

He added, "This is the right thing to do. I'm not looking for the easiest way or the safest way. I'm looking to help this football team contend for world championships. That's what I am about. That's what motivates me. I'm not motivated by the fear of hanging on to this job."

--One of the perks of playing college football is a free education.

But that wasn't a perk for Cecil Shorts III, a wide receiver who played at Mount Union, a Division III school that doesn't give out scholarships.

He said the tuition was $27,000 when he started and $32,000 when he finished so he has a lot of student loans to pay off although he got some help from his parents.

--The Jaguars drafted only five players but general manager Gene Smith said it was a draft of quality over quantity.

"We felt like all of these players would come in and certainly upgrade our roster. They all have a future here. Again, we're just happy to have five players wearing the Jaguars' helmet that we feel have the profile that we want. I do believe it is talent, character and competitiveness," he said.

--The Jaguars drafted players from Lehigh, Mount Union and Middle Tennessee and that's a pattern for Smith. Only six of his first 20 draft picks his first three years have come from BCS schools.

"We scout the player, not the school," he said.

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