Jacksonville Jaguars: Draft Preview

Dwan SamuelCorrespondent IApril 11, 2009

DENVER - OCTOBER 12:  Head coach Jack Del Rio (L) of the Jacksonville Jaguars directs his team against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 12, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Jaguars defeated the Broncos 24-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

With nine total draft picks this year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have their work cut out for them.

The position that appears to be the most needed at the moment is that of wide receiver. With both Matt Jones and Reggie Williams no longer suiting up for the Jaguars, the unpredictable Troy Williamson is currently their best option for a wide receiver.  

Mike Walker is also a decent option, but when an organization give a QB the most lucrative contract of any player in the history of the franchise, that QB needs to have a No. 1 receiver to throw to.

At the moment, the best options for the Jaguars at wide receiver in the draft will be Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech or Jeremy Maclin of Missouri.

Crabtree's stock has fallen somewhat after failing to work out at the combine because of his fractured foot and having surgery in early March that will keep him off of the foot for at least six to 10 weeks.  Even with the surgery, he is still considered by many draft experts to be the top rated receiver in the draft.

Maclin's draft stock has risen and some experts place him ahead of Crabtree at this point.

The fact is, the Jaguars need a deep threat that they are currently lacking.  Another possibility that seems very likely to occur in order for the Jags to obtain a wide out would be a trade.

With the QB catastrophe that has occurred in Denver, the Broncos would love to obtain Mark Sanchez with the Jag's eighth overall pick.

Sanchez's draft stock has risen tremendously after his showing at both the combine and the USC pro-day.  It is being predicted that Sanchez may be taken before Georgia QB Matthew Stafford.

The Jaguars have made it known they are very interested in Sanchez.  The question seems to be whether they are interested in giving Garrard some competition or if they are considering a trade with the Broncos, who would love to go after a possible future franchise QB like Sanchez.

The trade scenario is more likely if either Stafford or Sanchez is available for the eighth pick.  General manager Gene Smith has made it known that the Jags would like as many picks as possible in order to build the future of the team.  

Through the reviewing of the draft value chart, the picks eight and 12 (the Broncos first round pick) are only about a 200 point difference, which means the Broncos could give up their 15th pick of the third round (79th overall pick) to the Jags.  

The Jags would then move down to pick 12 and gain a third round pick.  If this occurs, the Jags could and will likely still go after a receiver.  That receiver would be Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland.

They can also look at University of Florida receivers Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, but neither seem worthy of an overall 12th pick.

The Jags have acquired OT Tra Thomas, which temporarily patches up their issues at left tackle, but their offensive line (or lack thereof) caused a great deal of issues for the Jags' last season.  

Offensive tackle would have been the first position addressed during the draft had it not been for the release of Jones.  During the second round, if offensive tackles such as Jamon Meredith of South Carolina or Philip Loadholt of Oklahoma are available, the Jaguars are likely to take one of them.  If not, look for the Jags to go after a defensive tackle like Ron Brace of Boston College or Fili Moala of USC.  

Because of Thomas, the Jaguars can wait until a later round to take OT Xavier Fulton of Illinois.  

Although Vince Mauwai and Maurice Williams will both be back from season ending injuries, the Jags will also be looking to take a guard in the fifth or sixth rounds like Louis Vasquez of Texas Tech, Roger Allen of Missouri Western State, or Andy Kemp of Wisconsin.  

The Jaguars have several options for the 2009 draft, but they also have several holes to fill on their team.  The needs that must be filled are wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker, and they still need to draft a diamond in the rough quarterback.

If Garrard does not produce this season, they may be looking back and wishing that they took Sanchez when he was available.


Jaguars Draft Picks

Round One, Pick Eight (overall 8)

Round Two, Pick Seven (overall 39)

Round Three, Pick Eight (overall 72)

Round Four, Pick Seven (overall 107)

Round Five, Pick Right (overall 144)

Round Six, Pick Seven (overall 180)

Round Seven, Picks 23, 41, and 44 (overall 232, 250, 253)