2011 NFL Draft Results: Jacksonville Jaguars Grades, Reactions and Speculation
Well, the draft is over and the lockout is back on. Still, there is reason for optimism among most NFL teams because of this draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that has been transformed after the haul they brought in this weekend.
The Jags made waves in the NFL when they moved up from No. 16 to No. 10 in order to take quarterback Blaine Gabbert with their first pick. Gabbert fell to No. 10 after the Titans picked Jake Locker over Gabbert at No. 8.
The Jags also upgraded the offensive line by adding Will Rackley from Lehigh. They added the speedy Cecil Shorts from Mount Union as well.
In addition, the Jags gave their secondary an overhaul by adding safety Christopher Prosinski and cornerback Roderick Issac from Mid Tennessee State.
Now, the Jags didn’t add defensive linemen or any linebackers, which are two areas that needed a lot of help. But adding Gabbert was a once-in-a-generation pick, and the Jags were lucky to get him.
Will Rackley is often compared to new Colt Ben Ijalana because they are both offensive linemen who came out of FCS schools. Rackley spent his college days at Lehigh and is considered a fantastic guard prospect who would probably have been a first round pick if he had been from a bigger school.
Rackely spent three years starting at left tackle for Lehigh and that means he has a lot of experience being the guy and he will be able to rely on that experience to make an impact for the Jaguars.
According to ESPN’s draft tracker a strong All Star game and a lot of experience make him a great fit for Jacksonville.
“Rackley lined up at left tackle in college but his lack of length will force him inside in the NFL. He does, however, have the tools to be a day one starter at guard in the NFL. He has the tenacity and strong punch to be an effective run blocker and the lateral quickness to hold up one-on-one inside. He also eased concerns about the competition he faced with a strong week at the East-West Shrine game.”
I will say I was surprised that the Jaguars picked another offensive linemen instead of a defensive end or linebacker but I think Rackley is going to be a solid player.
Coming into the draft there were many who thought that Blaine Gabbert could have been the first pick in this draft but when Cam Newton’s name was called as the newest member of the Carolina Panthers it seemed like just a matter of time before Gabbert would be called.
However when the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans all passed on the former Missouri quarterback it seemed like he could fall a long way. The Jaguars seized the opportunity by jumping up to the No. 10 spot to pick up the franchise quarterback.
According to ESPN’s draft tracker Gabbert could end up being the savior of the franchise in Jacksonville.
“The Jags have many needs on defense, but this is a good pick and Gabbert will be in a good situation. He can sit behind David Garrard, who is serviceable but not great. Backup Trent Edwards doesn't look like the future and this fan base needs someone to get excited about. Gabbert will be helped by a strong running game and a pretty good offensive line, but his biggest challenge will be thriving without a lot of weapons. He really allows a vanilla and conservative offense to open things up and become less predictable.”
I think there are a number of teams that are going to be kicking themselves for passing on Gabbert.