Lots of criticism has been levied at the Jaguars for their questionable use of their first round picks in the last several drafts. These picks have included Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, and Byron Leftwich, none of whom remain in Jacksonville today.
The Jaguars have a big decision to make regarding most effective use of the eighth pick. One the one hand, they can trade down and attempt to accumulate picks in the later rounds of the draft.
On the other hand, the Jaguars can draft the best available player with the eighth pick and then trade that player if he doesn't fit their needs or keep him if he does.
Ideally, the Jaguars would love to acquire a legitimate left tackle with the pick, but chances are there won't be one available who is worthy of the 8th overall selection and the money expected accordingly.
Some candidates are:
This boy is big, and he played exceedingly well at Ol' Miss, but he's also not in my opinion worthy of the eighth overall selection. This may be something that could happen if the Jags traded down.
Smith was great in college, and was expected to be the highest rated offensive lineman coming into this draft. But his epic fail at the combine and equally mediocre pro day has all but killed his draft stock. If the Jaguars take Smith it will be a real reach.
Harvin is a game changer, the kind of player that consistently has the ability to score on every play. One concern, though, is Harvin's upright running style and lack of durability. He also may not be worth the money that an eighth pick will undoubtedly demand.
If the Lions and the 49ers both pass up on Stafford, which they are expected to do, he will most likely fall to the Jaguars spot.
Stafford is a very, very intelligent quarterback with great NFL caliber skills, and the Jaguars made the mistake of passing on Ben Roethlisberger in 2003 because they didn't feel that they needed a quarterback at the time. If Stafford falls to the Jags, they may very well draft him.
The second best quarterback in the draft figures to be available at the eighth spot, and he's another intelligent quarterback with definite NFL caliber skills. The Jaguars aren't as interested in Sanchez as they are in Stafford, though, so he may not be selected if he's available for the Jags.
The most important thing for the Jaguars to do is to not, under any circumstances, waste the eighth pick. This is an opportunity for the team to bring aboard a difference maker, and they are certainly in need of one.