Wait and See on Harvey

The Jaguars made what appears to be the most controversial move of the entire NFL draft when they traded their 26th overall pick, along with both of their third-round picks, and their fourth-round pick to Baltimore to get up to the eighth position to select Derrick Harvey. Was it the right move? Experts disagree.

Everyone that has followed the Jaguars closely knows exactly why they did what they did on draft day. The team has a desperate need at defensive end, and the lack of a pass rush was one of the primary reasons the Jaguars were booted out of the playoffs in Foxboro, Massachusetts last January. The Jaguars saw what they consider to be an elite pass rusher available, and the price was certainly right from Baltimore.

"It was an opportunity where it matched up real well for us, and we were excited to do it," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said at a press conference after announcing the pick. Del Rio spoke highly of the 6'5", 270 lb. end, "He's very relentless, a hard-charging defensive end. "He plays with great temperament, great chase."

Harvey seemingly impressed everyone at his Pro Day, when the former collegiate national champion ran in the 4.7's. Jaguars defensive coordinator Gregg Williams spoke highly of both Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves' physical abilities--

"Mom and dad blessed them in the gene pool. The ability to flat run, like those two guys can, you're born with that."

Despite many in the Jaguars camp that seem to be more than on board with the selection, there are many draft experts that aren't so certain about the move. Scout.com NFL Draft Expert Chris Steuber had this to say about the Jaguars using the eighth overall pick on Harvey–

"I thought it was a little bit of a reach for Harvey, but Del Rio obviously saw something in him that they liked."

Chris Steuber continued by discussing what he thought of Harvey's game.

"Derek Harvey is a streaky pass rusher," said the NFL Expert. "He gets his sacks in bunches. He's a guy that's going to get two or three (sacks) in one game, then he can go two, three, or four games without a sack. He's a streaky defensive end who I think needs to show a little more consistency to be a very dominant player."

The real question, at least in the short term is how much of an immediate impact will Derrick Harvey make to the Jaguars? The team obviously felt that they were one player away and it was obvious that their major team need was a lack of pass rush and pass defense. Is Harvey the guy that takes the team over the top? Expectations are high for the rookie.

"I think that with him being the #8 overall pick, there's a lot of expectations, and one of those expectations will be for him to be a starter on opening day," said Chris Steuber. "I think the Jaguars are thinking that they are going to training camp with him (Harvey) going to be their starting defensive end."

If Harvey is going to beat out either veteran defensive ends Paul Spicer or Reggie Hayward, he has to be impressive this summer in camp.

"He has to prove a lot in training camp and show that he can understand the defense and play maybe not every single down," said Steuber. "The expectation is for him to go in there and compete and hopefully be the opening day starter."

Despite Harvey now having top ten draft pedigree, he still has work to do, according to Chris Steuber–

"He's a streaky guy, he got his weight up a bit and it's helped him, but he has to get a little bigger up top and a little stronger to compete against NFL tackles."

The Jaguars are hoping that their soon to be sizeable investment in Derrick Harvey pays off sooner, rather than later. If Harvey can be the player that the coaching staff thinks right away, the Jaguars will have a great opportunity to wrestle control of the AFC South away from the Indianapolis Colts, who have won the division five consecutive seasons.


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