Contingency Plan for Jaguars

With the two consensus top quarterbacks in this draft, Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez having fantastic pro day workouts, it is an ever increasing likelihood that neither will be around when it's the Jaguars turn to select at pick number eight. Find out what the team should do with their first-round pick.

Although nobody knows for sure what the team is going to do with the eighth overall pick (they probably don't even know yet), we are pretty sure by gauging the team's visits and formal interviews that if Mark Sanchez or Matthew Stafford was available, the Jaguars would be selecting one of them. With both players working overtime and recording spectacular workouts, the likelihood of either lasting until pick number eight is slim.

We are fairly certain that the Jags won't be trading up and giving away more draft picks, so we've put together a contingency plan for the team:

Backup plan #1- One of the two big left tackles falls- Although it isn't likely, one of the two big left tackles, either Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith, could fall into the team's lap at pick number eight. If that happened, it is almost certain that either would represent the best player available and also secure a position of need for years to come.

Backup plan #2- B.J. Raji - The mammoth former Boston College tackle could make an immediate impact on the next level and coaches and scouts were enamored with his play at the Senior Bowl. This would be a no-brainer if it wasn't for the reports of a failed drug test at the NFL Combine. Although the reports haven't been confirmed, nobody associated with Raji is going out of their way to deny them. Although it's not something that would likely take Raji off most team's draft boards, Gene Smith has shown a tendency in his brief tenure as Jags general manager to wash his hands of anyone who is anything less than a model citizen.

Backup plan #3- Best available defensive end- We know the Jaguars spent their entire first day of draft picks a year ago on the defensive end position, but defensive end may represent the best player available, and really, can you have too many guys that can get to the quarterback? Either Brian Orakpo or Everett Brown could help the Jags conversion to the 3-4 defense much easier.

Backup plan #4-
Michael Crabtree - Crabtree is the "sexy" pick, and Gene Smith spoke about going for "base hit" type of draft picks instead of "home runs," but with the Jaguars desperate need for a playmaking wide receiver, something they haven't had since Jimmy Smith retired, the pick would certainly represent an area of need. Still, Crabtree has had foot surgery and nobody really has a true 40-time on the NCAA's best wide receiver for two consecutive seasons. Crabtree would arguably make the least immediate impact out of the players mentioned.

Backup plan #5-
Trade out - It sounds easy, and it makes sense for a team that needs talent at multiple positions to trade back and recoup some value, but it won't be that simple. Without any of the quarterbacks available, teams will likely not be willing to move into the top 10 to pick a guy who isn't a consensus top five talent. The best thing that the team could hope for is that one of the big two left tackles are available, which could spur some interest from several teams.

Other options:


Rey Maualuga, LB, USC- Maualuga would start from day one at middle linebacker and that would allow Daryl Smith to move back outside. Still, Maualuga appears to be a bit of a reach at the eighth pick.

Malcolm Jenkins, CB/S, Ohio State- Jenkins was a sure top-ten pick prior to running the 40 at the NFL Combine, and now teams aren't sure if he has enough speed to be a dominant corner. Whether they use him at corner or safety, Jenkins could start immediately.

Michael Oher, LT, Mississippi- Oher is a bit of a reach at pick #8, and some feel he projects more as a right tackle than a left tackle. Still, he would fill an area of need and give the team some extra depth on the line.

Brian Cushing, OLB, USC- Cushing was a beast during Senior Bowl week, as he looked to be the best linebacker in Mobile. There have been rumors about a possible failed steroid test, but the reports have been vehemently denied by his agent, and the league has confirmed that they have received no evidence of a dirty test. Cushing may be a bit of a reach at the eighth pick, but he too can be a day one starter.


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