Grading the Draft - 2004 Jaguars

Many media outlets give instant analysis on particular teams drafts, almost immediately following the selection process. It's pretty much impossible to grade a draft before any of the players have put on helmets or pads, or even after a few seasons of play. That said, JagNation is going to grade the Jaguars draft-- the draft of 2004.

The Jaguars were in full rebuilding mode in April of 2004, as they came off a 5-11 season and had a second-year coach in Jack Del Rio and a second-year quarterback in Byron Leftwich. The team was fortunate enough to trade their way to 10 selections, and many of those helped rebuild a Jaguars team that hasn't suffered a losing season since 2003.


First round (#9 overall) Reggie Williams, WR, Washington - Grade: C+

The Jaguars fell in love with the size and athleticism of the former Huskie receiver, and the team envisioned a passing attack featuring Leftwich-Williams for the next several years. Proving that the draft is clearly a crystal ball business, Williams caught just one touchdown pass in his first two seasons to go along with only 62 receptions, production hardly worthy of a top-ten pick.

Williams was a major reach at #9 overall back in 2004, and it appeared as if the Jaguars drafted for need instead of value. The Jaguars patience in Williams seems to be rewarding itself as Reggie set the franchise record with 10 touchdown receptions last season, and appears as if he'll be a solid starter for years to come.

Was he worth the pick? Probably not. Who would've been a better selection? Lee Evans, Dunta Robinson, Ben Roethlisberger, Tommie Harris, Shawn Andrews, Vince Wilfork, or Will Smith. Any players selected ahead of Williams that would've been worse? Robert Gallery.


Second round (#39 overall) Daryl Smith, LB, Georgia Tech - Grade: A

Daryl Smith was another second-round gem by the Jaguars, as the linebacker can play both inside and outside, and is the epitome of consistency. Instead of making a "splash," the Jaguars front office appears to go strictly with a best player available philosophy in round two, and the result has been some fantastic picks that are all still with the team.

Was he worth the pick? Absolutely. Who would've been a better selection? Bob Sanders. Any players selected ahead of Smith that would've been worse? Several including linebackers Teddy Lehman and Jason Babin, as well as Ahmad Carroll, Rashaun Woods, and Junior Saivii.


Second round (#55 overall) Greg Jones, FB, Florida State - Grade: B-

Greg Jones was originally selected by the Jaguars to be a compliment to Fred Taylor, but he has never seemed to hit his potential as he was recovering from a torn ACL when he was drafted, and then suffered the same injury just a few years later in a preseason game. Jones and the Jaguars have made the most of the situation as he has become one of the best fullbacks in the game, and he finally appears to have regained his quickness.

Was he worth the pick? Probably, you normally don't select fullbacks in round two, but Jones has been a very good fullback. Who would've been a better selection? Madieu Williams, Nick Hardwick, Chris Cooley. Any players selected ahead of Jones that would've been worse? Several including Darius Watts, Jacob Rogers, Dwan Edwards, and Tatum Bell.


Third round (#86 overall) Jorge Cordova, LB, Nevada - Grade: D-

The Jaguars were hoping that Cordova would become an undersized pass rushing specialist, but Jorge battled numerous leg injuries and never worked out for Jacksonville. Cordova played sparingly in 15 games over four seasons with the Jaguars, and registered just eight tackles for the team.

Was he worth the pick? Absolutely not. Who would've been a better selection? Nearly anyone including Matt Schaub, Travelle Wharton, Shaun Phillips, Demorrio Williams, and Jerricho Cotchery. Any players selected ahead of Cordova that would've been worse? Nobody that was considerably worse.


Fourth round (#118 overall) Anthony Maddox, DT, Delta State - Grade: D-

Anthony Maddox was supposed to be a solid rotational defensive tackle that gave both Marcus Stroud and John Henderson a break, but he wasn't as good as advertised and only lasted two seasons in Jacksonville.

Was he worth the pick? No. Who would've been a better selection? Melwelde Moore, Stacy Andrews, Jason David, Jared Allen, and Gibril Wilson, among others. Any players selected ahead of Maddox that would've been worse? Nobody that was considerably worse.


Fourth round (#120 overall) Ernest Wilford, WR, Virginia Tech - Grade: B+

As much of a waste of picks as Anthony Maddox and Jorge Cordova were, that's how good of a pick Ernest Wilford was for the Jaguars. Wilford became a starter in his second season and was a reliable possession target for the team for four years prior to his leaving this March in free agency.

Was he worth the pick? Absolutely, a very good fourth-round value. Who would've been a better selection? Stacy Andrews, Jared Allen, and Gibril Wilson. Any players selected ahead of Wilford that would've been worse? Several players including Anthony Maddox, Nat Dorsey, Leon Joe, and Tim Euhus.


Fifth round (#137 overall) Josh Scobee, K, Louisiana Tech - Grade: C+

Josh Scobee was the consensus second-best kicker available in the 2004 draft, and he has been the Jaguars starting kicker since his rookie season. Although Scobee isn't yet an elite kicker in the league, he has elite leg strength which has been a weapon for the team on kickoff coverage.

Was he worth the pick? It seems he was. Who would've been a better selection? Jacob Bell, Jake Scott, Erik Coleman, Michael Turner, and D.J. Hackett. Any players selected ahead of Scobee that would've been worse? Several players including Johnnie Morant, Trey Darilek, and J.R. Reed.


Fifth round (#150 overall) Chris Thompson, DB, Nicholls State - Grade: F

Chris Thompson was an athletic small school player that the Jaguars thought could turn into a rotational defensive back. Thompson never saw the field as a Jaguar.

Was he worth the pick? No, but it was the fifth-round. Who would've been a better selection? Michael Turner, D.J. Hackett, Thomas Tapeh. Any players selected ahead of Thompson that would've been worse? Nobody that was considerably worse.


Fifth round (#159 overall) Sean Bubin, T, Illinois - Grade: F

Sean Bubin was a project type of pick who the Jaguars hoped could develop into a depth player on the offensive line. Bubin never played in a game for the Jaguars.

Was he worth the pick? No, but it was the fifth-round. Who would've been a better selection? Thomas Tapeh, Drew Carter, Corey Williams. Any players selected ahead of Bubin that would've been worse? Nobody that was considerably worse.


Seventh round (#249 overall) Bobby McCray, DE, Florida - Grade: A+

Bobby McCray was a great value pick for the Jaguars as he not only made the roster, but contributed with 22 sacks over four seasons before leaving for New Orleans in free agency back in March. Although the Jaguars didn't believe McCray could be an every-downs defensive end, his production was more than anyone could ask for out of a seventh-round pick.

Was he worth the pick? Absolutely. Who would've been a better selection? Nobody selected after him. Any players selected ahead of McCray that would've been worse? Several players, in fact McCray along with Jacques Reeves and Shane Olivea were the best picks of the seventh-round.


We've give the Jaguars 2004 draft class an overall grade of B-. They have four starters remaining from the class, and have two more players selected on the second-day that left for free agency (which could yield compensatory selections that may be better than the original picks). The Jaguars have two potential Pro Bowlers in Daryl Smith and Greg Jones, and a touchdown maker in Reggie Williams. The 2004 class has helped rebuild the team from the NFL doldrums to a now Super Bowl contender.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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