A look at the Jaguars heading into the 2011 NFL Draft; Jacksonville has the 16th pick in the first round.


Record – 8-8, on a season that started strong with a 6-4 record. But over the last six they were 2-4 and fell out of any chance of making the playoffs. Part of their troubles was a 22-point loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Finish – they were second in the AFC South, two games behind division winner Indianapolis.

Playoffs – the Jaguars last made the playoffs at the end of the 2007 season, and have now missed three consecutive years. The last time Jacksonville won a post-season game was 1999, when they blasted Miami 62-7 in an AFC wildcard round game.


It’s been a time of change for the past few seasons in Jacksonville and despite disappointing results head coach Jack Del Rio has been able to maintain his job, although he lost some powers three years ago when Gene Smith was elevated into the GM’s job. Last year the Jaguars had a disastrous season when it came to quarterbacks, as they had four different QBs start games. When all the smoked cleared, it was still David Garrard in the driver’s seat at the position.

Even with the QB problems, the Jaguars were tripped up more by their struggling defense that finished overall No. 28 in yards allowed. They invested draft choices in the defensive line last year, using their first four selections on guys at DE and DT. They figure to zero in on more defensive help in this year’s draft, especially at linebacker and safety.


Offense – averaged 341.3 yards per game to rank No. 15 in the league. Thanks to Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville was the No. 3 running game in the league, hitting for 149.7 yards per game. The Jaguars offense scored 40 touchdowns. Jones-Drew ran for 1,324 yards on 299 carries. Nobody else on the team had 500 yards or more. Second-year WR Mike Thomas led the team in receiving with 66 catches for 820 yards. TE Marcedes Lewis had a big season, catching 58 passes for 700 yards and an impressive 10 TD catches. Garrard threw for 23 TDs against 15 INTs, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,734 yards. He finished with a 90.8 passer rating. Overall, the offense turned the ball over 33 times, and gave up 38 sacks.

Defense – the Jags defense gave up 371.8 yards per game, ranking No. 28 in fewest yards allowed. They were also No. 28 in passing yards allowed at 250.3 yards per game. Opponents scored 47 touchdowns against them. Del Rio’s defense had just 18 takeaways and finished with 26 sacks. DE Jeremy Mincey – a former draft pick of the Patriots –led the team with 5 sacks. CB Derek Cox had four of the team’s 13 INTs; nobody else had more than one.

Special teams – K Josh Scobee missed six of his 28 FG attempts, missing once inside the 40-yard line. P Adam Podlesh had a decent season, averaging 43.8 yards per kick with the Jaguars having a net average of 39.2 yards. On returns, Thomas handled the punts and averaged 10.5 yards, including a 78-yard return for a TD. On kickoffs, rookie Deji Karim averaged 25 yards on 50 returns. The coverage units gave up a kickoff return for a score.


GM Gene Smith has put the personnel acquisition back on solid footing in his two seasons on the job and part of that came with him taking over the NFL Draft and making decisions on who will or will not be a selection of the Jaguars. So far the change has helped the Jaguars improve their roster.

Who has the draft room juice? GM Gene Smith.


1. Defensive end – Last year, the Jaguars had just 26 QB sacks and they finished No. 22 against the run shows a huge problem they have on the edges of their defense, specifically DE and OLB. DE Aaron Kampman had 4 sacks but also suffered a torn ACL injury that ended his season early. DE Mincey had 5 sacks, but he’s a journeyman type. The Jags failed in 2008 when they selected DE Derrick Harvey in the first round. He’s still around, but as a backup.

2. Safety – Some believe the back liners were the biggest problem for the JAX defense last year. Young starters Courtney Greene and Dan Carey gave up too many big plays and didn’t bring any big plays back for the Jaguars. The backups are all recycled NFL types including former Chiefs DB Tyron Brackenridge.

3. Wide receiver – The decision not to re-sign Mike Sims-Walker has left the position with little depth and talent. Mike Thomas led the team in receiving with 66 catches for 820 yards. There’s not much on the depth chart after him although talented WR Jarett Dillard (5th-round/2009) will be back. But there needs to be more weapons for David Garrard.


GM Gene Smith took over the draft in 2009 and so far his work has been pretty solid in the rebuilding of the Jaguars. He has not had the first-round disasters that can be traced to James Harris who held the power before. Some of the later day No. 1 picks for Harris include WRs R. Jay Soward, Reggie Williams and Matt Jones and DE Derrick Harvey.

Smith had a strong ’09 Draft class as all nine picks remain with the team, including starters OT Eugene Monroe, DT Terrance Knighton, CB Derek Cox and WR Mike Thomas. Also, adding 2010 first-round pick Tyson Alualu helped matters. Things are looking up in Jacksonville.

2006 – The Jaguars scored with TE Marcedes Lewis (1st) and RB Maurice Jones-Drew (2nd) and not much else.

2007 – They picked up starters at LB in Justin Durant (2nd) and G Uche Nwaneri (5th).

2008 – One of the biggest busted draft classes of the decade in the league. Only first rounder Harvey is still on the team, and he was a backup to a fifth-round rookie.

2009 – Good group added here by Smith in his first year in charge has worked out well (see above).

2010 – Jags got some criticism for drafting Alualu in the first round, but he turned out to be a nice find and solid along the interior.


As the Jaguars go on the clock there will be quite a few DEs still available on the draft board. Names like Cameron Heyward, Adrian Clayborn, Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan and Ryan Kerrigan. I think it will come down to a couple of Big 10 products – Clayborn and Kerrigan. THE PICK – Adrian Clayborn.

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