Positives and Negatives of the Jaguars Draft

Since my job isn't on the line with each possible selection, it's fairly easy for me to be a "backseat driver" and criticize the Jaguars draft selections. I'm going to list what I felt to be the positives from last weekends draft, as well as some things I would've done differently.

Let me begin by saying that overall, I believe the Jaguars did a real solid job of finding value in almost every round, and I truly believe that they had one of the better drafts in the league.

Thumbs Up

1. Thumbs way up to the front office for executing their best trade so far in their four plus years in Jacksonville. Trading back from 17 to 21 to get more picks, while the top guys they targeted were still on the board. Nice job, I don't think any front office could've played it any better.

2. The selection of wide receiver Mike Walker in round three. This may be some UCF homerism coming out, but I think Mike Walker could be a starting wide receiver in Jacksonville sooner than later. To pick up a guy with his speed and hands in the third round could end up being the steal of the entire draft in a few years.

3. The team saw a deficiency and addressed it. I'm talking about punter Adam Podlesh in round four. The Jaguars special teams was abysmal in 2006, and the team did what they had to to get better. Podlesh may have been there later on, but he also may not have.

4. I love the pick of Josh Gattis in round five. Gattis should be a nice special teams contributer this season, and could eventually be a starting strong safety in the NFL. Good job by the front office of continuing to select the best player available, even though they already spent a first round pick on the position.

Thumbs Down (or at least not so far up)

1. I have to question the Jaguars selection of Justin Durant, from Hampton with the 48th pick in round two. If head coach Jack Del Rio is as in love with the guy as everyone in the front office is letting on, he should be a productive guy. However, I'm pretty confident that Durant could be had in round three, and the Jaguars could have either addressed a different need, or traded down in round two to recoup some more value.

2. No defensive end until round four? A position of major need, or at least a major question mark for the Jaguars is certainly defensive end. Jaguars fans know the situation with the disgruntled Bobby McCray, the questionable health of Reggie Hayward, and the aging Paul Spicer. I know the Jaguars are said to be a BPA (best player available) team, but I would've tried to move to a position where value could've met up with need to select a defensive end.

3. In the middle or later rounds, I would've traded up instead of down. Acquiring more talent is never a bad thing, and the Jaguars certainly did a lot of that, but in my opinion the team has a pretty good back end of the roster. They may have drafted a lot of guys that won't make the team in '07. I would have opted for the route of trying to trade up and possibly get some impact players.

4. Piggybacking off number three, the Jaguars traded away their second, third round pick when quarterback Trent Edwards was still on the board. Edwards could have been a solid project quarterback who would have offered the team a little insurance for the future at that position.

5. Here's the big one: I would have drafted Brady Quinn with pick #21. He had too much value to pass on, in my opinion, and I would have tried to either move down to Kansas City at #23, and likely still select Nelson, or traded him to Cleveland just like Dallas ended up doing, and really be set for next years draft. In a worst case scenario, if the team couldn't trade Quinn, they would have some insurance at the position, and they could sit him for '07, and see how Byron progresses. If Byron plays well, sign him to an extension, if not or if he leaves, they would have potentially a franchise quarterback in Quinn.

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