Jaguars Draft: Elevator Music

With the 17th pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select... a player that either doesn't fit a team need, or a player whose value doesn't fit the pick. The Jaguars find themselves in a tough spot in the first round. To be effective, they must move up or down on the draft elevator.

The top players at their two greatest positions of need, defensive end and safety, (Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson, Adam Carriker-DE's; LaRon Landry, Reggie Nelson- S) are likely to be gone by the time the Jaguars pick at 17. The drop-off in talent at those positions after the top two players would make it a pretty big reach for the team to select the next guy at each position at the pick (Jarvis Moss, Anthony Spencer-DE; Michael Griffin, Sabby Piscitelli-S).

So what should the Jaguars do to match up need with value? The easy answer would be to move, either up or down. The only problem with that is finding a trading partner that is willing to move up or down. Lets explore the options of the Jaguars moving up in the draft to get one of the top guys at safety or defensive end. It is likely that if the Jaguars want to pick Jamaal Anderson, they will have to move all the way up in the top ten, maybe even further. The "point differential" (from a standard NFL draft value chart) of moving from pick 17 to pick 10 is 450 points. At pick 10, Jamaal Anderson may or may not be available, but both Adam Carriker and Reggie Nelson would be available. 450 points would be the equivalent of the Jaguars trading this years second round pick (#48 overall), and their fifth round pick. That would leave the team with just one other first day pick.

Here's another problem, if the Jaguars were dead-set on moving up, the team holding the #10 overall pick is the Houston Texans. It is somewhat unlikely that a division rival would trade with another division rival. The problem with moving either up or down in the draft, is that each team has its own agenda, and it's difficult for one team's agenda to coincide with another team's. Suppose the Texans won't deal in their division, the Jaguars then look up to moving to the ninth spot. The Miami Dolphins hold the #9 overall pick, and they are reportedly interested in Brady Quinn or Levi Brown. There's no way the Dolphins have a shot at either of those guys at pick 17. Lets try pick #11. The 49ers are reportedly interested in drafting Adam Carriker. It's unlikely that they'll move down. Pick #12-Buffalo. They like Patrick Willis, and will need to stay at that spot so the Rams don't grab him at pick #13. The moral of the story is that the Jaguars possible intentions don't really jive with many of the other teams agendas. If the Jaguars are to move up, they will likely have to overpay, and subsequently lose value. Which is what they would do if they picked a guy like Jarvis Moss at #17.

So lets say that the Jaguars can't move up and by the time the Packers are on the clock at #16, Jamaal Anderson, Adam Carriker, Reggie Nelson, and Darrelle Revis are all off the board. The Jaguars would either have to select a player at a position that they either don't have a pressing need, or shouldn't wrap up any more money in (defensive tackle, wide receiver), or pick a player whose value doesn't fit the pick. The next most logical solution would be to attempt to move down. Jarvis Moss and Anthony Spencer would probably be good fits somewhere around pick #25. The Jets pick at #25 and have plenty of needs, but would they guys available at 17 interest the Jets? Possibly, but not likely. The Jets would be better off staying where they are with all of their needs instead of giving up extra picks. The Jaguars will need to find a trading partner that is targeting a fast wide receiver, such as Ted Ginn. Kansas City or New Orleans could be one of those teams, and they would be coming from picks 23 and 27 respectively. Kansas City would have to give up approximately 190 points to move from #23 to #17 (according to the chart), which is about a middle third round pick. New Orleans would have to give up 270 points to move up from pick #27, which is approximately a late second round pick, early third. There may be some other candidates, but those two seem to make the most sense.

For the fans that complain that the front office doesn't do enough wheeling and dealing, hopefully this piece has shed some light on how difficult draft day deals can be in the NFL, especially early on. The Jaguars certainly seem to be in a predicament regarding needs and value, at least in the first round. If they are going to target a player by moving up or down, they may have to give up some value (points) via a trade. Another possibility is to package a player in with the picks. The Jaguars have a tradeable commodity in right tackle Maurice Williams, and possibly in quarterback David Garrard.

There are always some surprises on draft day. Teams usually take guys that they've been targeting before they should. If that happens, it's possible that maybe Anderson, Nelson, Revis, or Carriker will be available at #17. If not, the Jaguars need to either pick a player that fits the value, even if they don't have a need, or exhaust their greatest efforts to move down.

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