The Jaguars pulled off the major mock-buster in round two as they selected a little-known linebacker from Hampton University, Justin Durant. Justin Durant's biggest knock has been his size, as he stands just 6'1", 230 lbs. Durant is a fast guy, evidenced by his 40 time in the 4.5's, and moves great laterally. Durant was an ultra-productive player at Hampton, as he was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, an astounding three times. Durant has great instincts and football IQ, and is an extremely hard worker.
The last time the Jaguars picked a player from a Black College was back in 2003, when they selected Rashean Mathis in the second round from Bethune-Cookman College (Daytona Beach, FL). Just four years later, Mathis not only earned Pro Bowl honors, but he was also named first-team All-Pro. There will be some significant pressure on Durant to justify the draft selection, as many mock drafts had him going nowhere near round two. There will also be added pressure on Durant, being that the Jaguars current front office has had outstanding success with their second round picks.
The likely plan of action for Durant, at least in his rookie year, will be to learn the position of linebacker and mostly be a special teams contributer. With a linebacking corps of Mike Peterson, Daryl Smith, and Clint Ingram, the Jaguars can afford to bring Durant along slowly, and he should eventually replace Peterson on the outside, while its likely that Daryl Smith will move back to middle linebacker. Providing everyone stays healthy, I don't expect Durant to get any significant playing time at linebacker until 2008 or possibly beyond.
Jaguars Extend for Durant
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