NFL Draft 2011: Jacksonville Jaguars Seeking to Improve Pass Rush
Jacksonville Jaguars Ranked Near Bottom In Sacks Last Season
Thirtieth, to be precise.
Only two teams in the NFL last season recorded fewer sacks than the Jaguars, who will undoubtedly try to bolster the pass rush with the 16th pick in the draft. But with who?
ESPN’s Todd McShay says Missouri’s Aldon Smith is a safe bet:
Smith is a developmental prospect with excellent pass rushing potential who could provide production on passing downs as a rookie while being groomed to become Aaron Kampman's replacement. Jacksonville clearly has more pressing needs in the defensive backfield and at linebacker (particularly WLB and MLB), but no prospect at any of those positions is worth taking with this pick.
I agree that Smith is raw. Having basically played only two years of ball in college, Smith, a redshirt sophomore, has a lot of learning to do in terms of technique, particularly against the run. His maturation process is a big caveat, but one that can certainly take a back seat to his natural athleticism and talent.
But I’m not so sure — and this is where McShay and I differ — that Smith is any less of a project than UCLA's Akeem Ayers or Georgia’s Justin Houston, both of whom would aid the pass rush while filling a need for Jacksonville at outside linebacker, a position which McShay insists the Jaguars desperately need an upgrade.
For more on the 2011 NFL Draft, visit Bleacher Report’s Draft Hub.
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