Jaguars Past Draft Grade

The 2007 draft has been over for approximately a month now, and it's time to give the Jaguars draft class a grade. Since I feel that it's pretty ridiculous to grade a draft class that hasn't even suited up for a preseason game yet, I'm going to grade the first draft class of the Jaguars new era, the draft class of 2003.

After four seasons, there is enough information available to give a pretty accurate grade of value.

2003 First Round pick- Byron Leftwich, QB, Marshall- The Jaguars made Byron Leftwich the seventh overall pick in the '03 draft, as they team ran up to the podium as soon as Minnesota's time had run out. Usually picking a quarterback in the top ten is either a big hit or a big bust, and at this point in his career, Leftwich is neither. As most fans know, Leftwich's biggest issue has been staying healthy, as he's missed just about 16 games over the last two seasons. When healthy, Leftwich has been a pretty good quarterback. Sometimes he's played fantastic, sometimes he's been mediocre. Leftwich has seemed to progress each season, however he's missed more games each year he's played.

2003 Second Round pick- Rashean Mathis, CB, Bethune-Cookman- Rashean Mathis represents one of the greatest draft picks in the Jaguars brief history. Mathis was the 39th overall selection, mainly because he played at a black college (Bethune-Cookman). Since being drafted, the Rashean Mathis has made one Pro Bowl, and was a first team All-Pro selection in 2006. Mathis could be the best cornerback in football, not named Champ Bailey.

2003 Third Round pick- Vince Manuwai, G, Hawaii- Vince Manuwai has been a great third round selection (#72 overall) for the Jaguars. Manuwai is a full-time starter at guard, and has been for nearly every game he's played in since being drafted (62 out of 63 games). Manuwai is one of the strongest guards in the league, and helped pave the way for the Jaguars third-ranked rushing offense in 2006.

2003 Fourth Round pick- George Wrighster, TE, Oregon- George Wrighster had mostly been a backup tight end until the '06 season. In '06, the former 104th overall pick stepped his game up and became the Jaguars best receiver among tight ends. Wrighster has battled back problems throughout his career, but is expected to build on his fine '06 performance in new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's system where the tight end position is more emphasized in the passing game.

2003 Fourth Round pick- LaBrandon Toefield, RB, LSU- With the Jaguars second, fourth round pick in the '03 draft (#132 overall), the team selected LaBrandon Toefield from LSU. With the exception of a few nice games at the end of the '05 season, Toefield hasn't exactly been the running back that the Jaguars expected him to be when they drafted him. Toefield has good running skills, but he's buried on the depth chart behind Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.

2003 Sixth Round pick- Brandon Green, DE, Rice- The Jaguars took a flyer on Brandon Green in the sixth round in '03 (#176 overall), and Green was mostly a special teamer and fill-in through his only two seasons in Jacksonville. Green is currently on the Seattle Seahawks roster.

2003 Sixth Round pick- David Young, SS, Georgia Southern- The Jaguars selection of David Young at the 179th overall pick was a project that didn't work out. Young was waived before ever playing a game with the Jaguars.

2003 Sixth Round pick- Marques Ogden, T, Howard- The Jaguars made Marques Ogden their 193rd pick in the '03 draft, mainly because of his great bloodlines. Ogden is the brother of Ravens all-everything, future Hall of Famer, Jonathan Ogden. Marques Ogden played just two seasons with the Jaguars, and is currently on the Titans roster.

2003 Seventh Round pick- Malaefou MacKenzie, FB, USC- Malaefou MacKenzie was drafted by the Jaguars with the 218th pick in the seventh round in '03. MacKenzie played one year with the Jaguars and was out of football shortly thereafter.

Out of the Jaguars nine draft picks in 2003, four of them are projected starters, five are still with the team, and seven are still in the NFL. The Jaguars have an All-Pro, a starting quarterback, a very good offensive lineman, and a solid tight end, as well as a good backup running back. If Mathis was the first round pick and Leftwich was the second round pick, fans and media alike would consider the Jaguars 2003 draft to be a home run.

The grade I place on the '03 draft class, a solid B


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