Jaguars Targeting Players as Draft Nears

David NelsonCorrespondent IIIApril 11, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23:  Defensive lineman BJ Raji of Boston College runs during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 23, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

With plenty of options at pick eight, the Jaguars are finally starting to target certain players, assuming they stick with their pick at eight.

I would say the change of management within this program has signified a change in who they will select with the pick this year, compared to other years. 

Despite other years that seem to indicate reaches in terms of need compared to value, the Jaguars know that is the reason why they haven't had any first round pro-bowlers in the past six years.

Here is a list of the top five targets the Jaguars have shown interest in going into this year's draft.


5. OT/Mississippi Michael Oher: Although not the guy I believe they will take, Oher shows great potential at the tackle position.  He is fairly inconsistent, and that is the reason why I don't believe he is worthy of a top 10 pick.


4. OT/Alabama Andre Smith: Everyone has heard of his off the field problems, but there is no doubt that this kid is talented.  Projected No. 2 overall right after the bowl games had been played, his value has dropped.  Could end up being a steal in the mid first round.


3. WR/Missouri Jeremy Maclin: This guy is a crazy good athlete and receiver.  Question is, will he be available and, if he is, will Michael Crabtree be as well?  The possibility of where Crabtree goes will definitely affect where Maclin goes.  The Raiders (seventh overall pick) will more than likely select either of these guys. 


2. WR/Texas Tech Michael Crabtree: If he falls to them, this should be a no brainer. There is a reason why this kid collected 41 touchdowns in his two seasons at Texas Tech.  He is a future star in this league, but with his potential, the odds of him falling to pick eight aren't too great.  There are up to four teams that may be interested in him prior to the Jaguars' pick at eight. 


1. DT/Boston College BJ Raji: He is the best defensive tackle, and he is a beast.  The Jaguars' foundation of the past years was based on their hard-nosed, physical defense.  Last year showed that Rob Meier is a great backup, but Henderson lacked help to stop the run, and to get to the passer. 

Raji is definitely not a reach and, if he fell, would be well worth the value.  The idea of Harvey, Henderson, Raji, and Hayward is sounding pretty good if they want to get back to their physical defensive style. 

The draft is closing in, and these next couple of weeks will show more as to whom the Jaguars will be targeting on draft day.  The more realistic scenario that I see happening is a trade with the Broncos.  We trade them the eighth overall pick so they can grab Mark Sanchez, and we get their 12th overall pick along with a third round pick.  In this case, we could grab any of the guys on this list that is available, and pay them significantly less than what we would have to at the eighth overall pick.