The consensus is that the Jags will select a DE with their first pick in the 2011 NFL draft. This is because it is predicted that a DE will be the best value at the time of the selection. While it is not the biggest need, it is still a large need, as they were last in sacks in 2010. The main question is which DE will they draft?
The two favorites are Ryan Kerrigan and Aldon Smith. In this article, I will take a look at which is a better fit for the Jags and why.
The Case For Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan is a very talented player, and also very consistent. A problem is that people wonder if he can fit into the Jags' 4-3 defense, as he is a bit small for a DE. However, he does a great job against the run. He can rush the quarterback and strip him very well, as he holds the FBS record for most forced fumbles. Kerrigan is a hard worker and would fit very well in Jacksonville.
The Case For Aldon Smith
Smith is only a sophomore, and the potential is limitless for him. He is not the best fit for a 4-3 defense, as he is more of a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he would still be very good with the Jags.
Smith is a risky pick but could turn out to be the best DE in this draft. He is 6'4" with a large wingspan and good speed. You don't see physical specimens like him a lot, which is part of the reason he has so much potential. People are worried about his speed around the edge and his consistency.
Ryan Kerrigan, while not a perfect pick, would be a great fit in Jacksonville. While Smith would be good, Kerrigan is more consistent and has almost as much potential. His skills would translate into immediate help for the D-line.
The sack total will definitely go up with Kerrigan. Also, Ryan has the flare for big plays, which is always a plus. You can't go wrong either way, but I think Kerrigan is a better fit, by a little. Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!