Defensive ends: Part 11
2002 wasn't a big-year for the Jaguars pass- rush, especially from the end spot. The team totaled 36 sacks on the season compared to the Jaguars opponents of 42. Of the total sacks, approximately 12 came from defensive end position. The team high from the rush-ends came from Marco Coleman (5) while Tony Brackens only picked one in limited play.
The heart and soul of the Jaguar line (Tony Brackens) is recovering from microfracture surgery performed in November. According to a league source, the team doesn't have the confidence that Brackens will return to a form addition to his high salary cap figure. By releasing the seven year pro out of Texas release after June 1, would bring a cap savings of $5.5 million for the Jaguars.
With the Jags' career sack leader (49) on his way out, Jacksonville's new front-office man, James Harris, will have the difficult task of finding a replacement via free agency and the college draft. Rumor has it that Harris wants to mainly rebuild the team through the draft. There is no doubt that finding a defensive end probably will be the number one priority.
This year there are several solid pass-rushers available in the draft but not an overall great year for them. With Brackens heading out of town and an overall weak pass-rush last season, it will be critical for the Jaguars to select a prospect that can contribute right away.
The Jags Insider.com will look at and examine few prospects, that the Jaguars might interested in drafting this upcoming April.
Terrell Suggs, a 6-foot-5 and 262 junior underclassman out of Arizona State, is the No.2 rated overall best player in the draft according to TFY Draft Preview.com. Suggs, who holds ASU records for single season sacks, career sacks (44), single-season tackles for loss (31.5), and career tackles for loss (65.5), has it all. He's fast enough to run down ball carriers from the backside and quick closing on the passer. The only negative on him was his lanky frame. However, he showed up at the combine 10 pounds heavier than his listed weight.
With the Jaguars selecting eight overall in this years draft it's very unlikely that the Jaguars will see him fall their direction unless the team trades up. The Jags trading up is a very unlikely due to the number of needs that will have to be addressed.
Penn State's Michael Haynes is the second highest rated defensive end and the 12th overall best player in the draft according to TFY. Haynes, who stands in at 6-foot-2 and weighs 280 pounds is, athletic and relentless defensive end that stops the run or rushes the passer with equal effectiveness. The Nittney Lion senior standout improved his stock by having his way with offensive tackles in the senior bowl. The downside of Haynes is that he's only 6-foot-2 and lacks any more growth potential.
Haynes most likely will be available when Jacksonville selects in the first round. However, there might be better athletes still left on the board that Jaguars might not be able to pass on like wide receiver Andre Johnson of Miami or offensive lineman Jordon Gross of Utah. If the Jaguars traded down a few slots, he might still be available and the Jags would get better value. Haynes had an outstanding senior campaign by recording 80 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks.
Recently, at the Indy combine, Jaguars were showing a lot of interest in Haynes. He's definitely one to watch.
Jerome McDougal, who is known for his intensity and relentless pass-rushing ability, is ranked by TFY's as the 16th overall best player in the draft. The third team All-American (AP) selection also has limited growth potenial. He checks in at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds. As a senior, he recorded for sacks and had 17 quarterback hurries in only nine games.
The Jags will most likely not select McDougal unless they trade down to the middle rounds.
Cory Redding a 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds has the perfect makeup for a stud defensive end. The 20th overall ranked player in the draft per TYF, is explosive and athletic. His downside is has lack of a great first step. As a senior the third team All-American recorded 57 tackles and five sacks.
Redding would be available to the Jaguars late in the first round or possible early into the second round.
Ohio State's Kenny Patterson checks in at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds. The Buckeye senior brings excellent quickness to the table. Patterson had an outstanding senior bowl performance which raised his stock some.
Patterson might be available when the Jags select early in the second round.
Chris Kelsey, a senior from Nebraska is a pass- rush specialist that wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks. The downside for the the 6-foot-4 and 265 pounder is that he's easily ridden out of the point of attack and that he was injured most of his senior year.
When the Jaguars select early in the second round, he should be available.
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