Gene Smith tendencies: Hiding first round interests

With only 15 draft selections and two years of drafting under his belt as general manager, projecting the tendencies of Gene Smith is difficult. If he uses a certain strategy two years in a row it doesn’t necessarily mean that his draft strategy is going to be the same every year after. However, looking at the small sample size available to us, we can take some guesses as to which direction he may go in April.

When the Jaguars drafted Eugene Monroe in 2009, it was a selection that most draft pundits didn’t expect. Not because the Jaguars didn’t have a need at tackle or because the pick was considered a reach, but because Monroe was expected to have been drafted within the first five picks of the draft and never made available to the Jaguars.

No one thought that Gene Smith was hiding his interest in Monroe, it was just assumed that his interest was elsewhere due to Monroe’s perceived draft stock.

In 2010, though, the Jaguars’ selection of Tyson Alualu was even more shocking than the first round pick of the year prior. This time for completely opposite reasons. Tyson Alualu was considered a 2nd round talent by most draft pundits. It also came as unexpected due to the fact the Jaguars completely hid their interest in Alualu. So much so that Alualu never took a visit to a Jacksonville.

In both of the two years that Gene Smith has been general manager, the Jaguars have shown little to no interest in the first round draft interests.

In this year’s pre-draft, the Jaguars have seemingly been most interested in Ryan Kerrigan. They talked to Kerrigan at the combine and Jaguars defensive line coach, Joe Cullen, ran Kerrigan through drills and had dinner with him that night.

Does this mean the Kerrigan interest is purely a smokescreen to throw other teams off, or is it legitimate interest? Unless you’re reading Gene Smith’s diary, good luck figuring that out, but the prior years would indicate that the Jaguars wouldn’t show such interest in a prospect that they actually wanted.