By the Numbers (Names Too): Grading the Jacksonville Jags' 2009 Draft
People make a career out of poorly grading rookie draft picks. If Mel Kiper had it his way, Marshall Faulk would have fell off the draft board. Don't worry though, after a month of scouring over stats nachos, I've come up with a brilliant draft evaluation technique.
The Jaguars draft, as well as any draft if you have the time to do it, can be accurately evaluated on the basis of both name and number. That's really all you need.
"Why?" you might ask. Simple, players want to be remembered as "the insert number" Jordan is the No. 23, LeBron's trying to surpass that. When he chose it, you knew what he was gunning for.
As for the name thing, names reflect the characteristics of an individual. Usain Bolt sounds fast, like lightning quick. Is the fact that he's the fastest man ever mere coincidence? I think not.
So without further ado, let's get to the picks.
First Round, (8)— Eugene Monroe, OT No. 75
Eugene Monroe sounds like a world class chess champion, or maybe the next Quizboy. His name reveals his smarts and his drive, perfect for a starting OT in the NFL.
He's No. 75, the number of perennial Pro–Bowler, and possibly the best tackle of all time, Jonathan Ogden.
Oh, that Coke guy, Joe Greene? Yeah, he's a No. 75 too. So are Howie Long and that sack guy, Deacon Jones.
Having not even played a down, Monroe is already proving his competitive drive by stepping into such a large (literally) jersey.
Grade (name/jersey): B/A+, Overall: A
Second Round, 7 (39)— Eben Britton, OT No. 73
First, what a scary name. Does this guy go pillaging with vikings (not the Minnesota variety) in his spare time? No. 73 is a bit of a safe pick, with only one great, John Hannah, showing a contrast with Britton's fierce, barbaric name. Hopefully that means Britton's a modest guy who still has great talent, not a poser with a scary name.
Grade: A+/B, Overall: A
Third Round, 8 (72)— Terrance Knighton, DT No. 96
Terrance Knighton sounds like a basketball player. A mean, Detroit Pistons, center or power forward—tall and lanky, but powerful. Put that on a 317 lb man and you've got a good mold for a disruptive defensive tackle.
Much like Monroe, Knighton's shooting for the big guns. Cortez Kennedy's a fairly well known guy. He liked sacking QBs, blowing up traps, and stopping RBs behind the line. Sports Illustrated named him the best No. 96 ever. Look out, Kennedy, Knighton's choice shows that he's looking to make you a No. 2.
Grade: B+/B+, Overall: B+
Third Round, 9 (73)— Derek Cox, CB No. 21
Ooh, he spells Derek just like Jeter does. That's classy and championship-y. Additionally, Short, simple CB names (two syllables max for either first or last names) tend to do best, Deion Sanders, Ronde Barber, Charles Woodson, etc. and Cox fits right in.
No. 21 has a lot of baseball history (Roberto Clemente), a lot of basketball history (Tim Duncan, KG, Dominique Wilkins), and some great NFL history (Deion Sanders, Tomlinson, Tiki Barber).
Let's hope Primetime fever doesn't get a hold of Cox, and he stays on his original team before deciding to become great.
Grade: A/C+, Overall: B–
Fourth Round, 7 (107)— Mike Thomas, WR No. 80
Crap, a Mike. Mike Williams, bust. Mike Mamula, bust. Mike Elkins, bust. Mike Junkin, bust. Plus, the Jags already have one Mike, Mike Walker (not panning out well so far). If he had just gone by Michael.
No. 80's one of those untouchable numbers, kind of like MJ's No. 23. You need a seriously special talent to even challenge for Jerry Rice's number. Sorry, Mike, I don't think you're cut out for it.
D–/F, Overall: F
Fifth Round, 8 (144)— Jarrett Dillard, WR No. 87
Jarrett Dillard is a unique name that's not over the top crazy. He's off to a good start. With WRs you don't want to go too common (Steve Smith is an anomaly) or you end up with a Charles Rodgers/Mike Williams/Insert any Detroit Lions WR except for Calvin Johnson here.
Unfortunately, he's hindered by the use of too many double letters. A name can only have two sets before it gets ccrraazzyy.
His number leaves something to be desired. The only No. 87 I can think of who catches passes is Reggie Wayne. Not a bad player, but not exactly the guy you want as the pinnacle of No. 87–ness. Sorry, Dillard, you're a career role player.
Grade: B–/C–, Overall: C
Sixth Round, 7 (180)— Zach Miller, TE No. 49
He sounds like a pitcher or a TE. Oh, he is a TE? Well that's good. Boring names make for boring positions. He's not going to be a pass catcher.
No. 49 is one of those old–timey numbers that goes along with his old timey name. Is Jacksonville going to line up in the Wing T this year? I hope not.
Grade: C/D– Overall D+
Seventh Round, 41 (250)— Rashad Jennings, RB No. 23
Neat name. It's unique enough to pass the RB test, although I would have preferred a few more syllables.
I guess the alltime greats only had four syllables (Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith), but the current crop prefers names like Adrian Peterson (six), Ladainian Tomlinson (seven), and DeAngelo Williams (six).
As for No. 23, it's a basketball number. Hester wears it, but he's not exactly great. And he doesn't run the ball either. It's a reversed No. 32, a pretty popular RB number (Jones–Drew!), so Jennings is going to be the reverse of a popular RB.
Grade: B+/F, Overall: C
Seventh Round, 44 (253)— Tiquan Underwood, WR No. 19
This name is too much. I don't know if it should be criticized or cryogenically preserved a la Walt Disney.
And how did I know he was going to pick No. 19? As soon as I saw the name I thought, No. 19. Bonus points for meeting expectations, but you're too predictable, Tiquan. Defenders will jump those routes in a heartbeat. Grade: A? C? F? I don't know!/D+ Overall: #ERROR!
There you have it, the 2009 Jags draft. Completely analyzed far more accurately than Mel Kiper could ever manage.
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