Emerging star in Byron Leftwich

Grading the draft: Jacksonville Jaguars With an emerging star in Byron Leftwich and an established feature runner in Fred Taylor yet a receiving corps that needs playmakers, the Jaguars primary need heading into this draft was obvious.

Adding defensive depth was also a priority as was getting a left tackle. The Jaguars found a way to accomplish all these goals, getting value at positions of primary importance.

Former Arkansas quarterback Matt   Jones, who must make the switch to receiver and possibly tight end in the NFL, was the Jags first choice. Thus far Jones made the transition looks seamless in the months leading up to the draft. An offensive prospect who can produce catching the ball, throwing it on the option pass or running it on reverses, expect Jones to get plenty of opportunities as a rookie. Washington tackle Khalif Barnes fell further than most expected due to the belief he practices better then he plays. Barnes has all of the tools needed to be a successful left tackle in the NFL and was terrific value in round two. Scott Starks offers the Jaguars a quick cover man who will start off as a nickel back. Though smallish, the Wisconsin product has excellent cover skills and can stay with receivers all over the field. Virginia tailback Alvin Pearman could provide the team with a third down back. Though lacking top size/speed numbers, Pearman is very productive on the field and comes up during the games important moments. Gerald Sensabaugh will provide depth at strong safety as well as a future replacement for Donovan Darius. Hawaii wide out Chad Owens provides explosion as a return specialist and another pair of reliable hands for Leftwich. Pat Thomas could work out as the teams sixth linebacker. Chris Roberson of Eastern Michigan will likely be a practice squad player.

Jacksonville did a nice job of mixing long term potential with immediate production in this draft. While Matt Jones cannot be expected to be a playmaker in his first year as a wide receiver, his athletic skills mandate that he be accounted for when on the field. Both Khalif Barnes and Scott Starks could see significant playing time as rookies. Barnes might enter the season as the starting left tackle while Starks will almost certainly be the teams nickel back. The Jaguars did a nice job if filling out their roster, though one must question the franchise not answering the need at defensive end, especially in a draft full of speedy edge rushers.

RD Pick Player Pos School
1 21(21) Matt Jones TE Arkansas
2 20(52) Khalif Barnes OT Washington
3 23(87) Scott Starks CB Wisconsin
4 26(127) Alvin Pearman RB Virginia
5 21(157) Gerald Sensabaugh S North Carolina
6 11(185) Chad Owens WR Hawaii
6 20(194) Patrick Thomas OLB North Carolina State
7 23(237) Chris Roberson CB Eastern Michigan

UDFA Signings: LS Andre Economos, LB Jamar Enzor, LB James Kinney, DE Jim Davis, DE Bernard Thomas, RB Derrick Wimbush, OT L.V. Hill, WR Jason Mitchell, G Daniel Connolly, RB Lee Webb, OG Julius Franklin

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