Best Bets for Jaguars Draft

With the draft only a few days away, some of the possible selections before the Jaguars are starting to take shape and we can start narrowing down who the Jags selection could possibly be. A few weeks ago, many of us thought the pick was USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, but now it looks like he will not even make it past the Seattle Seahawks at pick number four.

If this is the case, this presents a bind for the Jaguars. Many fans and pundits are screaming "trade down and get picks". Sure, it sounds great to get as many picks as you can because this draft is full of talent, just not full of bell cows. Therein lies the problem. If Mark Sanchez isn't there at pick 8, who are teams going to come up for? It's easy to say trade down and plan to trade down, but you have to find a team willing to trade up. Rumors are running rampent that every team in the top eight, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, are trying to trade out of their pick. With the cost of top 10 picks this year and the lack of more than two or three truly elite prospects, why does a team move up if they can sit tight and still get relatively the same quality players at 15, 16, 17 that they could at 8, 9, or 10?

If Mark Sanchez is gone before the Jaguars pick, they appear stuck at pick number eight and need to make a decision. I've narrowed the pick down to four possible players I think the Jaguars have their sights on.

1. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama -

While he has had trouble this offseason, it doesn't change the fact that he was one of the most dominant offensive tacklesin the NCAA for 3 years, and arguably the best run blocking tackle in the draft. Smith could come in right away and possibly supplant Tony Pashos at right tackle while he learns the NFL game before he takes his shot at left tackle. Many scouts believe Andre Smith is a "follower" type player, and if he's in the right situation will be a dominant force in the NFL. With former Alabama head coach and the man who recruited Smith currently serving as the Jaguars quarterbacks coach, the Jaguars could have an "in" on Andre Smith.

2. B.J. Raji, DT/NT, Boston College -

With the rumor that Raji popped positive on his drug test at the combine being debunked, one has to think he is back on the Jaguars radar. He was recently worked out and interviewed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who currently need to beef up their interior, and could offer great value at the eighth pick. Not only does he plug the hole in a 43 defense, he can also play nose in a 34 defense which we believe the Jaguars will look to transition to in the future. Raji is the perfect building block if that's the case, whom many compare to current New England Patriot Vince Wilfork.

3. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Mizzou -

Maclin is an odd prospect. He's been rumored as high as 5 to Cleveland and as low as 17 to the New York Jets. Maclin is an explosive receiver with very good run after the catch ability and doubles as a very good threat as a kick returner. He has very good speed and hands, but has questions about his route running ability, having played in the spread at Mizzou, and some durability concerns. Many scouts compare Maclin to a younger version of newly signed Jaguar wide receiver Torry Holt, giving the Jaguars the perfect veteran to help Maclin get acclimated to the NFL.

4. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech -

Widely regarded as the best wide reciever in the draft and drawing comparisons to Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Crabtree could slip to the Jaguars at the eighth pick. While no one knows exactly how fast Michael Crabtree is, he was not often caught from behind in college. Like Maclin, Crabtree will suffer being dropped down on route running because of the offense he played in, however Crabtree is very physical and can beat the jam. Crabtree also offers freakishly long, literally, arms for a player of his height. He's actually got longer arms than Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who is nearly five inches taller. There are worries about Crabtree's surgically repaired foot, but all indications from doctors are that he will be just fine. With Jack Del Rio's emphasis on getting players that can take a 7-yard pass and turn it into a 30 yard play, Crabtree fits that bill


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