It has been mentioned numerous times that some of the Jaguars few draft day needs are at the positions of safety, defensive end, and wide receiver. Conventional logic points directly to the Jaguars drafting University of Florida safety, Reggie Nelson, if he's available when the Jaguars are up at pick #17. Nelson is a local guy, fantastic athlete, and fits the value of the pick and the position of need. So now let me mess up all of that logic and tell you about the player that the Jaguars personnel department loves, Darrelle Revis.
Darrelle Revis is one of the top rated cornerbacks in this draft, and he's been shooting up draft boards as quickly as anyone. Revis didn't run at the scouting combine, due to a hamstring injury, but he ran and ran well at his pro-day. Revis ran anywhere from a 4.38/40 to a 4.42/40 depending on whose stopwatch. Revis also has great punt return skills and outstanding ability to find the football when it's in the air. Revis has very good size (5'11", 205), and does everything well. There are people in the Jaguars personnel department that feel Revis will be a better football player than Reggie Nelson in a couple years, and one NFL expert told me "not to start printing those Reggie Nelson jerseys just yet."
So lets say that Revis and Nelson are both available at pick 17, what do the Jaguars do? The team has always claimed to have a BAP (best available player) philosophy in terms of drafting, and this situation may certainly test that philosophy. Nelson can probably help you right away, being the need is at his natural position, but Revis might be able to do more. It is possible that if the Jaguars do write Revis' name on the draft card, they may move him to free safety, as they did with Rashean Mathis, until Revis is ready to play opposite Mathis.
The wildcard in all this may be last season's big free agent acquisition, cornerback Brian Williams. Williams was given a six-year, $30 million contract before last season with a $10 million signing bonus. According to 2006 free agent figures, that was a lot of money. This years' free agency period says that the Williams deal was a bargain. Either way, Williams played very well for the Jaguars in 2006, and why would you think about moving him, at least right away. So the Jaguars may or may not have a decision to make. Do they go with the best available player in Revis (assuming they have him rated higher), or do they stay with the "safer" pick with Nelson?
It's possible that the Jaguars may not have to make this choice. The way Revis is climbing up the draft boards, the Rams, Bills, and Steelers are all big players for his services, as they already have hosted Revis or plan to in the next week. Either way, Revis is due to visit the Jaguars next weeks as well as the Vikings, Jets, Lions, Patriots, Eagles, Giants, and Redskins.
Breaking story credit to TFY Draft Preview / NFL Experts
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