5th Overall- Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU
Anyone in the Jaguars front office that tries to claim that they are anything but a needs drafting team is simply speaking out of their rectum. The Jaguars had a major need at wide receiver and selected who many believe is the best wideout in the draft.
Although they likely didn't need to trade up to get Justin Blackmon the team only gave up a fourth round pick to do so and that is acceptable compensation. The real question here is if Blackmon is a Top 5 type of talent and the answer appears to be no. Blackmon isn't a physical monster by any means. He is shy of 6-feet-1 inches tall. He weighs around 210 pounds, but most troubling is that he isn't extremely fast (refused to run at the Combine and most have him as a 4.5 guy).
Blackmon can still be a very good receiver without elite measurable's (see Nicks, Hakeem) but to select him at 5th overall screams ticket-sales scheme pick and not best overall player.
38th Overall- Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Andre Branch was a very productive player at Clemson and his skills should translate to the NFL level providing he learns more technique. First-team All-ACC and 10.5 sacks in 2011 is excellent production in any conference.
Unfortunately, Branch doesn't weigh 260 pounds and at that weight in a 4-3 defense he seems like a situational pass rusher. The Jaguars went that route in previous years with Larry Hart, Jorge Cordova, Bryan Smith and Brent Hawkins, all of which are out of football. Unless the team plans of switching to a 3-4 (which they do have personnel for), it just doesn't seem like Branch is a great fit. You also don't switch schemes after finishing #6 in the NFL in overall defense, especially not for a second-round pick.
Many had Branch as a first-round value so there's no danger that this pick was any sort of reach, but the teams that he figures to fit in best are all 3-4 alignments.
70th Overall- Bryan Anger, P, California
The Jaguars became the first team to draft a punter this early since the Chicago Bears selected Todd Sauerbrun in the second round in 1995. The only word one can use to describe taking a punter this early is incompetence.
Apparently Gene Smith felt that after 2011's 5-11 campaign and a star-studded free agency period which saw the Jaguars inking wide receivers Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans, along with cornerback Aaron Ross, the Jaguars simply had too many actual football players on both sides of the ball to where a high third-round pick would not make the team.
Either Gene Smith has overvalued a roster which is currently a 150 to 1 Super Bowl favorite in Las Vegas or he's just smarter than everyone else in football. To take a punter, any punter in the third round is a mockery of the scouting process and the Jaguars fan base.
These three picks certainly addressed positions of need. Justin Blackmon needs to be a Pro Bowl receiver to justify a fifth-overall draft pick when LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne was on the board. Andre Branch needs to be more than a one down player for justification in the top of the second round. There simply is no justification for taking a punter in the third round. Would anyone trade a third-round pick for a punter? Absolutely not.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie