Man of the Hour

Every year around this time, players rise up and fall down draft boards. Nobody really knows where they'll end up until the draft occurs in the final weekend of April. The Jaguars are eyeing one player who has seemingly impressed everyone at this week's Senior Bowl practices.

Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji has propelled himself from an early second-day pick just a month or two ago to a near lock for a position in round one. The 6'1", 325 lb. big man is quick, explosive, and versatile, and can play in just about any system.

"A lot of teams asked me which system I would be better in and I told them throughout my college career I played both," Raji told "I played a lot of nose, I also played two-gap. I'm pretty versatile."

Although Raji has seen Jaguars star defensive tackle John Henderson play, he patterns his game after a different Pro Bowler.

"Growing up I watched a lot of Tommie Harris from Oklahoma," Raji said when he was asked which NFL defensive lineman that he would like to emulate.

The University of Alabama used their mammoth tackle, Terrence Cody in some offensive sets in 2008, and Raji was asked if he would like to be used in a similar way.

"I've been longing for it since high school, but it's all up to the coaches," Raji told reporters. "Whatever they want me to do I'll do it, I'm a guy who wants to put the team first."

B.J. Raji has been by far the most impressive defensive tackle on either team this week, and he made top-flight center prospects Alex Mack from California, and Max Unger from Oregon look like scrubs as they provided little or no resistance for the talented tackle.

"I'm trying to take it day by day and I feel I had a pretty good day today, but there's always tomorrow," Raji said modestly after a Senior Bowl practice earlier in the week.

Raji's dominance was confirmed when both Mack and Unger dominated most of the other defensive players they were lined up against.

When asked what his goals for this week are, Raji spoke graciously about his opponents and basically said all the right things.

"I just want to show the coaches that I'm a competitor," Raji said. "This is by far the best group of talent in the senior class so I want to show them that I can compete and I can play at a high level."

We asked an NFL scout what he thought about Raji and he spoke glowingly about his inside presence and his ability to be a Pro Bowl type of player. Raji has steadily moved up draft boards and is currently projected as a first-round pick. It will be a tough choice for the Jaguars at pick #8, as he will truly test their best available player theory, as they have greater needs elsewhere, but he will likely be the most talented guy on the board.

Raji is projected as a first round pick by NFL Draft Scout, and is a five star prospect ranked as the 19th best player in this draft by

Jags Illustrated Top Stories