JagNation.com Rumor Mill - HEATING UP

The Rumor Mill is heating up this week. Trade winds are blowing in north Florida, and prospective draftees have been visiting "the Jack." Check the mill to see what we're hearing from NFL Insiders, league sources and some of our many contacts around the league.

It turns out that former Chiefs, current Vikings sack master Jared Allen's price was far too steep for the Jaguars (first and (2) third-round picks), but they aren't done shopping for pass rushing help. It is more than likely that the Dolphins' Jason Taylor will be dealt tomorrow, and the Jaguars seem to have an inside track. It has been reported that the Fish are looking for a first-round pick for the soon-to-be 34-year old ballroom terpsichorean, but as of this past week, the best offer Miami received was said to be a fourth-round pick. With Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in desperate need of pass rushing help, Taylor will likely have to make a short trip to relocate, and a second-round selection may just do the trick.


If the Dolphins asking price is too steep for Jacksonville, there may be a few more veteran options at defensive end that could be more than attractive to the team. None other than the Raiders Derrick Burgess is rumored to be available for the right price. The Raiders leading sack artist will turn 30 in August, and although we at JagNation don't understand the rationale behind shopping one of the game's best pass rushers in his prime, it is Al Davis.


After being involved in several mock drafts this week, I've come to the not-so-shocking conclusion that the Jaguars are in a nearly impossible spot in not only the first-round of Saturday's draft, but the second-round as well. If the draft plays out the way it should, the Jaguars will likely have to reach severely in the first-round to get a player that matches team need. Most of the prospects that will offer immediate help, Trevor Laws, Lawrence Jackson, Sam Baker, etc. are rated as beginning of the second-round prospects, and likely won't be available to Jacksonville when they are scheduled to make their second-round pick at #58.


With the Jaguars situation in terms of need/value where they select, it is very likely that the team will be very active in looking to move out of their spots. Clemson defensive end Phillip Merling could be a solid fit in teal, but the Jaguars would likely have to trade up to at least the 20th pick to get ahead of the Redskins, who were reportedly very impressed with Merling's last workout on Thursday.

Tampa Bay currently holds the 20th pick in the draft, and they are in desperate need of a defensive end as well as the Jaguars, so they may not be a willing trade partner. If Jacksonville is going to try and trade up in the teens, they will likely have to give up their 1st third-round selection (#71 overall).


If the Jaguars can't trade up to acquire Merling, it would be a perfect world scenario if they could trade out of the first-round completely. It is possible that teams such as Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago may want to trade back into the first-round to acquire one of the second-tier quarterbacks, such as Brian Brohm, Joe Flacco, or Chad Henne. If Jacksonville can pull off a deal with one of those clubs, they would be in much better shape to match need with value in round two, or work a deal for Jason Taylor.


Although our contacts in Atlanta are denying it, there has been some noise about Falcons defensive end John Abraham being on the trading block, as the team obviously needs to rebuild from the ground level on up. There will be a better chance of Abraham being shopped if the Falcons use their third-overall selection on defensive end Chris Long, but the defensive end that finished with double-digit sacks last year will likely not come cheap. Former Jaguars defensive coordinator, now Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith knows as well as anyone of the importance of pass rushers, and with last years' first-round pick Jamaal Anderson playing all 16 games for the Falcons and not registering a sack, don't look for Atlanta to be eager to give away their best defensive player.


The New Orleans Saints have been looking to trade up to acquire former LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, and have been dangling Pro Bowl left tackle Jamal Brown. Although that scenario certainly doesn't fit anything the Jaguars can do, the Saints have a plethora of talented defensive ends, and Will Smith is reportedly upset with his contract situation. It is possible that the Jaguars could acquire Smith, and New Orleans could be in shape to draft some secondary help with the Jaguars pick.


Some of the prospects that the Jaguars have shown extreme interest in are Maryland tight end Joey Haynos, Louisville linebacker Lamar Myles, Virginia Tech defensive tackle Carlton Powell, local USF product, linebacker Ben Moffitt, and Texas A & M center Cody Wallace.


Stay with us tomorrow during the draft to find out that latest on what's going on, and full commentary on all the selections made in our JagNation live interactive blog. You can get your questions answered in real time by our NFL experts.


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