For starters, Gene Smith will probably always compare Alualu to two players the Jaguars never had the chance to pick.
From Thursday to Saturday, Jacksonville's 2010 draft weekend was defined by the search for a middle linebacker to put between Daryl Smith and Justin Durant. Before the Jaguars traded a fourth round pick to the Oakland Raiders for Kirk Morrison, they tried to move up for Penn State's Sean Lee.
Had Alabama All-American Rolando McClain lasted until the 10th overall pick, the phones in Jacksonville's war room might have gotten some rest.
Coveting a "thumper" to underline their renewed commitment to physicality on defense, the Jaguars watched as McClain—a smart, hard-hitting, 6'3", 254-pound specimen—was snatched from under their noses by Oakland with the eighth overall pick.
The Buffalo Bills, picking ninth, then added insult to Jacksonville's injury by nabbing Clemson track star C.J. Spiller.
Reportedly, the Jaguars were higher on Ohio State running back Beanie Wells in the 2009 draft than most. Not high enough, of course, to take him with the eighth overall pick, but enough to show that adding a blue-chip complement for Pro Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew has been a consideration.
With Spiller, Jacksonville could have fused Jones-Drew's downhill, tackle-breaking "bowling ball" style and the rookie's smooth moves and sprinter speed to create the NFL's most dynamic ground game.
The Jaguars can't be judged too harshly for failing to come away with either of these players. Trading up to the Cleveland Browns' seventh overall pick would have been unreasonably expensive—so long as Alualu pans out, that is.