Jacksonville Jaguars: Offseason, Part Two

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Jacksonville Jaguars: Offseason, Part Two
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Finally, the draft has come and gone, and we now get a look at the team heading into next season.

Apart from the necessary cuts that will be made to get down to the correct roster size, it's fair to say that we have a very good idea of what the Jaguars roster will look like come September.

Since part one of this article series, the Jaguars have added two veteran players, and conducted the 2009 NFL draft.

The additions of left tackle Tra Thomas and wide receiver Torry Holt supply this team with two very well known veterans with plenty left in their tank.

Thomas, a former Eagle, is possibly one of the best tackles in Eagles' history, and adds significant depth and experience at the tackle position.

Holt, a former Ram, is one of the best wide receivers to have played in the last decade.  Holt has plenty to bring to this team, as a huge reason for his disappointing season last year was due to the Rams' quarterback issues.

Both Holt and Thomas are almost at the end of their football careers, but definitely have at least one or two more seasons to make very credible impacts.

After the addition of these two studs, the Jaguars went into the draft with one position in mind: offensive tackle.

Grabbing two very solid tackles in the first two rounds, Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, the Jaguars may have solidified their tackle positions for the next five to ten years. 

In the first round, Eugene Monroe was not much of a surprise.  Even with Michael Crabtree on the board, Monroe was possibly the best pure tackle in the draft, and after last year's season was ruined by injuries to the offensive line, it made sense to draft Monroe.

Britton is a guy whom I believe that the Jaguars saw going in the late first round, and to see him in round two made it an easy decision.  Britton has some issues compared to Monroe, but he has the athletic ability and mindset to become a starter in this league.

The third round may have been the most confusing round in the Jaguars draft.  After drafting defensive tackle Terrance Knighton with their third round pick, the Jaguars traded for the very next pick by giving the Patriots their 2010 second round pick.

With the next pick in the third round, the Jaguars selected cornerback Derek Cox out of William and Mary. 

Cox was a relatively unheard of player whom Mel Kiper Jr. said was a complete reach by the Jaguars in the third round. 

Later reports indicted that other teams did have an interest in Cox, and it is obvious that the Jaguars did not want to take the chance that he may not be available in the fourth round. 

These are two relatively unknown players out of small schools in the third round, but they may end up being huge contributors to the Jaguars.  Knighton was the last big defensive tackle on the board, and he brings great depth to the position

Cox adds depth to a defensive backfield in need of help.  Running a 4.39 40-yard dash, Cox has the speed. It is now just a matter of whether or not he can compete in the NFL.

The Jaguars went through three rounds, selected four players, and none of them were wide receivers.  Possibly the most pressing need entering the draft, it was only a matter of time before Jacksonville grabbed a wide out.

In the fourth round, the Jaguars selected wide receiver Mike Thomas out of Arizona. This guy may be undersized at 5'8", but he is a poor man's version of Steve Smith.

Thomas finished his career as the Pac-10's all-time receptions leader, and is not coming into the NFL without plenty of action in college.

The Jaguars decided to attack the wide receiver position in the next round, and selected Rice's Jarrett Dillard in the fifth round. 

Dillard is another very accomplished receiver whom the Jaguars seemed to like.  Both Dillard and Thomas add two great young receivers that will see time on a receiving corps looking for weapons.

A couple of weeks ago, this team's wide receiving corps was looking very weak, and after the addition of Torry Holt, Mike Thomas, and Jarrett Dillard, this team has a group that can go out and become the weapons that Garrard needs.

In the sixth round, the Jaguars selected QB/TE Zach Miller out of Nebraska-Omaha.  Miller played quarterback in college, but at 6'4" and 240 pounds, Miller will be used as a tight end in the NFL.

Miller is a developmental player, but could end up being a great pick in the sixth round as he is gifted with tremendous athletic ability.

The final round brought two draft selections. The Jaguars first selected Liberty running back Rashad Jennings. Jennings may be a steal in the seventh round. He has great speed, and adds a great back to the position.  Jennings may be able to beat out Chauncey Washington as the second back to Maurice Jones-Drew.

The last pick of the draft for the Jaguars was another wide receiver, Tiquan Underwood out of Rutgers.

Underwood is a very fast player, and, if he makes the team, then he has the potential to become a special player. 

The Jaguars had a great 2009 NFL draft.  I believe that the only negative that anybody has to say about the team is their third round selections; however, many will be surprised by these two small school players.

Don't be surprised if both Cox and Knighton have an immediate impact in 2009-2010.

The Jaguars have done a wonderful job this offseason. They have restored vigor to a dead team.

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