BABG - Best Available Big Guy for Jaguars

The Jaguars have always claimed to be a best available player drafting team, but their actions in the past certainly represented a different philosophy. Since there are only a certain number of large individuals on the planet, teams like Philadelphia covet and usually select those players early on. Find out which player the Jags could employ a similar philosophy to early on.

University of Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers mostly flew under the radar throughout his collegiate career, but he is now garnering plenty of attention amongst NFL scouts. The 6'3", 272 lb. end is hoping to make an impact on the next level, as he performed well at the Senior Bowl, before hurting his stock a bit at the NFL Combine.

Ayers was the fourth rated defensive end prior to the NFL's famous "track meet," but his 17 reps on the bench press seemed to hurt the former SEC star. Scout.com had this to say about his performance—

Post-Combine Skinny: Ayers had a chance to make a major splash, but he went the other way with a pathetic (for his size) 17 presses on the bench. He showed good speed in the 40 (4.8) and he he was athletic, but the lack of raw strength was galling.

Following the combine, Ayers did agility drills at his Pro Day and seemed to boost his stock back up.

"I was happy to see that Robert didn't rest on his laurels from the combine," said Condredge Holloway assistant athletic director for student relations. "He came in ready to work and impressed everyone again."

On the football field, Ayers played a vital role in making Tennessee's 2008 defense one of the nation's best, posting 49 tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss. He notched 113 career stops from his defensive end position including nine sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss.

"When Robert got here, he thought he was God's gift to football," former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "He wouldn't listen to the upper classmen—not in a bad way, but he just didn't take to coaching very well. As a senior, he's turned into a big time SEC defensive end."

Scout.com had this scouting report on Ayers—

Positives: Playmaker in the backfield … Good combination of size and quickness … Can play in any defensive style.

Negatives: A good pass rusher, but not an elite one … Not necessarily a creative pass rusher … Has to keep the intensity rolling all the time.

Attitude no longer seems to be an issue for Ayers, as he is willing to work hard to be an impact player like former Tennessee star defensive linemen, Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson.

"Obviously, I feel like I'm better coming off the edge," Ayers said. "But I'll do whatever the coaches ask me to do."

Another young pass rusher certainly wouldn't hurt the Jaguars, as Reggie Hayward appears to be entering the twilight of his career, and the jury is certainly still out on both Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. Don't be surprised if Ayers name is called when it's the Jaguars turn to pick in round two.


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