Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Year: 11-5)
It was a really outstanding year for Jacksonville, as David Garrard came into his own as the popularly titled "Franchise Quarterback." Well, there is another "Franchise Quarterback" in the AFC South by the name of Peyton Manning (he gives good pep talks). So every year, we are anticipating a team to dethrone the Colts, but it never seems to happen - but could this be the year?
It all starts with the 2008 NFL Draft for the Jags. Right to their draft range with the No. 26 overall selection:
Pat Sims/Trevor Laws/Kentwan Balmer:
John Henderson, when healthy, is one of the best in the NFL. I really think a big upgrade could be made at this position, and we all know how valuable defensive tackles are in football. Sims is the prototype of what they look for because of his great size and athleticism, but he is a little raw. That's OK because he can be developed behind Rob Meier, John Henderson, and Derek Landri. Balmer would also be a good fit with his athleticism, and don't count out the active Trevor Laws from Notre Dame.
Phillip Merling/Lawrence Jackson:
Both of these prospects would be great fits on this defense with their size and ability to play the run (which Jacksonville covets most historically at defensive end). Merling is a bit of an injury concern because of his sports hernia, but that's up to team doctors to decide if it's a big deal. Jackson is an all-around good football player, but he is never going to be a star. They can't go wrong with either pick at 26.
Trade up for DeSean Jackson or Devin Thomas:
This team needs a deep threat at receiver (Troy Williamson doesn't count) and neither of these guys are likely to be on the board, as there should be a receiver run starting with Philly then going with Tampa, Washington, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Seattle. So to leapfrog all of these teams, the Minnesota Vikings might be looking to get out of their No. 17 pick. On to the trade projection:
Jacksonville receives: No. 17 (950 TVC points)
Minnesota receives: Nos. 26, 71 and 158 (963.2 TVC points)
Let's now get into the Jaguars' possibilities after the first round.
If they don't go defensive tackle in the first round, then Laws and Sims could still be on the board for them in the second. They like bigger, thicker players who can plug up the run, so I think Ahtyba Rubin, Marcus Harrison, and Red Bryant would be good fits as well in the second or third rounds. Look out for Frank Okam or Frank Morton as sixth-seventh round draft selections.
Jack Del Rio could possibly pass on Merling or Jackson, but this team is desperate for end help and it must be addressed. Jason Jones, Calais Campbell, Jeremy Thomson, Kendall Langford, and Marcus Dixon are in their second to fourth round draft range.
A strong safety is needed opposite Reggie Nelson. Reggie Smith, Tyrell Johnson, Josh Barrett and Thomas DeCoud are possibilities in the second to third round. In the mid-late rounds they might be looking at Caleb Campbell, Jamar Adams and Craig Steltz. Don't be shocked if they draft Terrell Thomas in the second or third and then convert him to safety (like Tanard Jackson).
This team needs some speed at receiver, and if they don't make a move up for Jackson or Thomas, there is plenty of speed in the middle rounds to depend on. Eddie Royal, Donnie Avery and Andre Caldwell are options in the second or third rounds. Will Franklin, Dexter Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Harry Douglas are in their third to fourth round range.
A third running back might be brought in late in the draft just as insurance for Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. Kevin Smith, Chauncey Washington, Allen Patrick, Mike Hart and Cory Boyd would bring some very good depth to the position in the fourth to sixth rounds.
I don't think bringing in another tight end would be idea as well. Jacob Tamme, Kellen Davis, Craig Stevens and Cole Bennett would be good options in the fourth to sixth rounds as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2008 Offseason Needs
Back to Matt's 2008 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis Page