JagNation Rumor Mill

The draft may have been last weekend but the Jaguars roster is far from set. Which players they were targeting in the draft and who they weren't. What trades were available that the team didn't make? Which veteran could be making a run for a starting job? Find out what we've been hearing from our various NFL sources in this edition of the JagNation Rumor Mill.

A Sharper Image?

Free agent safety Darren Sharper visited Jacksonville this week in hopes to find employment, and he left without a contract. Sources tell us that Jack Del Rio was very high on Sharper when he left Green Bay for Minnesota back in 2005, but the Jaguars opted to go with free agent Deon Grant.

The Super Bowl champion had a career year in 2009 as he led the league with nine interceptions including three that he took back to the house. Still, the 34-year old safety is entering his 14th NFL season and the team must be weary about any kind of long term financial commitment.

It's likely that Del Rio will badger general manager Gene Smith about signing Sharper as Del Rio is likely on a win or search for work elsewhere situation entering the 2010 season, and with the horrible safety play that Jacksonville received a year ago, Sharper can only help. It's likely that the former Packer, Viking and Saint is mulling over a contract offer as he tweeted this earlier Thursday--

"Life's full of decisions; what might look like trash could be gold with a little polishing and nurturing."

Spiller and Tebow Weren't Options

As disheartening as it will be for ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay to read this, the Jaguars weren't considering former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller with their 10th overall pick. The Jaguars already have one Pro Bowl running back in his prime in Maurice Jones-Drew and it was neither financially feasible nor was it sensible for the Jaguars to invest the money it would take to secure the former Tiger that early in the draft.

As for "Superman", multiple sources told us that the Jaguars were never interested in the local legend at any point during the draft process and wouldn't have considered him "before the fifth round, if at all."

One Trade on the Table

Many draft experts have labeled the Jaguars first-round selection of Tyson Alualu a "panic move," as the team was afraid that Denver or Miami would've grabbed the talented California defensive tackle. To give some credence to the skeptics, the San Francisco 49ers claimed to have offered the Jaguars a fourth-round draft pick to move up from the 13th pick to the 10th pick but Jacksonville declined.

Smith Blackballed?

There are some whispers around the league that Jaguars general manager Gene Smith was "blackballed" in the eyes of several general managers around the league for his dealings with the Browns last season when the team signed cornerback Don Carey from the waived-injured list. At first it seemed far-fetched, but when Philadelphia decides it would rather deal with division rival Dallas instead of Jacksonville, the story seemed to have legs.

Repeat of 2007?

In the winter months of 2007, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio professed that quarterback Byron Leftwich was his starter and there was no competition. We all know how that ended up playing out. This season, amidst rumors that the Jaguars would go in a different direction at the position as David Garrard has proven himself to be sub-par ever since receiving his contract, the Jaguars ignored the quarterback position in the draft.

So Garrard will definitely be the opening day starter, right?

Maybe not.

Keep your eyes on a potential battle between 2009 backup Luke McCown and Garrard. McCown hasn't yet showed us an ability to lead a team, but the Jaguars are well aware of their very low ceiling with Garrard as the starting signal caller. Take into account Garrard's nearly $8 million salary and if the competition is close, a team that struggles to earn revenue would likely rather take their chances with a guy who earns more than $5 million less.

Future 3-4?

With the Jaguars spending much of their draft addressing the defense, it's obvious that they are planning to be more "hybrid" or switching to an outright 3-4 alignment. Tyson Alualu and D'Anthony Smith can both play 3-4 end, while Larry Hart is clearly a 3-4 outside linebacker. Terrance Knighton can play on the nose, and it would appear as if Austin Lane can play defensive end in either a 4-3 or 3-4.

Draft Notes

The Jaguars haven't selected a quarterback in any round of the draft since 2003 (Byron Leftwich), the longest drought of any team in the NFL.

What does it mean? Jacksonville has been so afraid to miss on an early pick for a quarterback that they're left with one of the worst situations at the position in the entire NFL.

Four of the Jaguars six selections were from FCS schools, the highest percentage of any team in the NFL.

What does it mean? The Jaguars will always be graded poorly following the draft, as there are very few "sexy" names. Last year's third-round of Terrance Knighton (Temple) and Derek Cox (William and Mary) looked like awful reaches at the time, but both were very productive starters as rookies.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at charlie@jagnation.com or follow him on twitter @nflcharlie

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