The Jaguars went a long way in making much of their fan-base happy, as they drafted play-making safety, Reggie Nelson from the University of Florida in the first round. The Jaguars were likely targeting four players, Reggie Nelson, Jamaal Anderson, Darrelle Revis, and Adam Carriker in the first round, and there was a chance that none of them would be available when the Jaguars went on the clock at pick #17. Fortunately for Jaguars fans, Nelson was available at #17, but for the first time in the Jaguars 13 year history, the team executed a trade to move down in the first round. The team rolled the dice as not only Nelson was available, but also Leon Hall from Michigan, and Brady Quinn, the highly touted quarterback from Notre Dame. The Jaguars moved down four spots to swap picks with Denver, and also received Denver's third round pick (# 86 overall), and their sixth round pick (#198 overall). Denver chose Jarvis Moss, and the rest is history for the Jaguars.
We've talked about Reggie Nelson for nearly a month, and the Jaguars have finally matched need with value in round one. Nelson is a play-maker in every sense of the word, and should make an immediate impact in the Jaguars secondary for years to come. When head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about Nelson, here was what he had to say, "we're excited about a playmaking free safety from right down the road. We're close to him. We spent a lot time this spring studying the safety position. We feel like he's a guy with special range and playmaking ability and we're excited to add him to the football team. He brings speed and athleticism, sideline to sideline range. He's a ball-hawk. Six interceptions last year. He's got seven blocked kicks in his collegiate career. Urban Meyer just couldn't say enough positives about this young man. We feel like he's a real good fit and we feel like by sliding back the way were able to pick up some additional picks and still acquire a player of this value, we thought it made a lot of sense for us and we're pleased to be able to pull that off."
When asked about how Nelson will fit in with the Jaguars, Del Rio responded, "We think he's an athletic free safety in the mold of Rashean Mathis and Ed Reed. In terms of athletic ability, this is a guy who has played some nickel, has played some corner; he's a free safety in our minds. A very athletic guy with tremendous ball skills, great range and he's got speed to close and make plays. He's blocked kicks and plays with a lot of passion. He's a lot of fun to watch. Like I said, in discussions and in doing our research and talking with staff down there at Florida how much they really love having this young man as part of their program. We think he's a great addition to our football team."
When Del Rio was asked if he thought Nelson would be available with the 21st pick, he said, "We hoped he would be there. Now, we didn't know he would be there. There were a few players. We took a calculated risk that ended up paying off for us and that's part of the process. You work hard at it, scouts and coaches putting the board together, and then you make decisions that you think are best for the team and I'm happy with the way it's worked thus far. A good start for our weekend."
Reggie Nelson should be able to play right away, and the Jaguars now have a very nice rotation at safety with veteran Donovin Darius, Gerald Sensabaugh, and Nelson. Nelson played some corner in his college career, and has shown 4.3 speed. Nelson is the second player from the University of Florida that the Jaguars have taken in the first round (Fred Taylor, 1998).
Jaguars Trade Down, Still Get Their Guy
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