By James Johnson
With the much celebrated 2011 draft now behind us, I wanted to do a quick review on what I though of each selection the Jaguars took. Feel free to leave your opinions as well in the comment section.
Round 1 selection #10 (Blaine Gabbert QB – Missouri) All I could say about this selection is WOW! I was in disbelief when I received a text saying that the Jaguars had exchanged first round picks with the Redskins and that Blaine Gabbert was still available. I didn’t know what to do! I already knew what the result would be and the rest was history. Let me first of all say this move was LONG overdue. The Jaguars hadn’t drafted a QB in seven years so drafting Gabbert is one of the best moves the Jaguars could’ve made. As Gage said in his last blog post, this move will either motivate Garrard and push him to perform better, or we might have an new starting QB in the near future if he doesn’t raise his level of play. I grade this pick as an A+.
Round 3 selection #76 (William Rackley OL – Lehigh) The Jaguars used their second round pick to trade up for Gabbert, so their next pick was in the third round. Most people were expecting the Jaguars to select a defensive player with this pick, but with the BAP theory it wasn’t guaranteed. Instead they took small school OL William Rackley. Once again, I like this pick. Despite having huge defensive needs I can live with this pick. Rackley, whom the Jaguars scouted prior to the draft played OT at Lehigh University but looks to kick in to play OG or OC. This is a great addition to the team because like QB, the Jaguars needed some youth at the OG and OC positions. Their starting Center Brad Meester is 34 years old, and is the oldest player on the Jaguars roster. OG Vince Manuwai is 30 years old as well. If Rackley can play to his potential he could find himself starting in the interior OL as Gene Smith believes he can. I see him anchoring this line, and protecting Gabbert (whenever he becomes the starter) for many years. I give this pick an A .
Round 4 Selection #114 (Cecil Shorts III WR – Mount Union) Mount Union sounds familiar, huh? That’s because it’s the same college Pierre Gacon of the Colts came from. Shorts actually began his career at Mount Union as QB, who probably threw many passes to Gacon. He later moved to WR to replace Garcon, who, as I said earlier, was drafted to Indy. Shorts was ultra productive at WR caching 63 touchdown passes for 4,704 yards in just 3 years so the talent is there. I read that he attended the East West Shrine all star game where he didn’t do so well, but I later found out he had a hamstring injury which he got during practice there. Before the injury Shorts was a beast at the Shrine Game practices. The Jaguars believe he can come in a be the third receiver on the roster and battle Jarett Dillard in the process. The addition of Shorts adds depth at the WR position which we need. I was thinking we would draft more of a big body WR, but Shorts is good in my book. I give this pick a B -.
Round 4 Selection #121 (Chris Prosinski FS -Wyoming) With our second fourth round pick the Jaguars finally went with a defensive player. We all know one of the biggest needs of the Jags is the Safety, so this pick made a lot of sense. Personally I would’ve drafted Tyler Sash, but I’m not an analyst, GM, or scout. Obviously Gene knows what he’s doing so I’m fine with this pick. As for Prosinski, he’s very gifted in terms of abilities. Standing at 6’1 weighing 200 lbs he has great size, and ran a 4.39 at his pro day. From the highlights I’ve seen of him he’s a solid against the run, but I didn’t really see much of him in coverage (which we need help in). Guess we will find out what kind of coverage skills he has a training camp. I give this pick an B – .
Round 5 Selection #147 (Rod Issac CB-Middle Tennessee) With the last pick the Jaguars selected their second DB in a row. Issac is another talented small school player who many people didn’t have on their radar, but Gene Smith leaves no stone unturned. I love this pick almost as much as the Rackley pick. Why? Because Issac is a thumper. He is what our secondary needs, and that’s a player who can tackle. He is just as solid in coverage (man coverage to be exact). I can’t wait to see what he can do in training camp in which he will be battling William Middleton for the starting nickelback position.I give this pick a B+.