The Jaguars have a chance this offseason to do something very special. Building off of a strong draft, in which we secure our Franchise Quarterback, a starting, mauling Guard, a special and rare talent at Free Safety, and next, hard hitting Corner, the Jaguars are in a position where they can go for a more need based approach in the Undrafted Free Agency Period. Here, I will break down, my top-5 targets the Jaguars should look to bring in to instantly challenge for a starting role on the team.
- David Mims, OT/OG Virginia Union. Going back in time through the way back machine, Gene Smith has a tendency to poach the state of Virginia for NFL talent. David is no exception. Built in the Eugene Monroe mold, Mims is 6’7 nearly 350 pounds of pure talent. He has a quick first, driving step off the line of scrimmage, which helps him shed the opposing DE. David’s best quality is once he sets his feet, he will not budge and can also maul and has a burst to get downfield. He is capable of playing 3 positions (RT, and both Guard positions), but he does lack quick feet and has average at best upper body strength, but with proper coaching and conditioning, he can be a special talent.
- Mario Harvey, MLB Marshall. Going into the 2011 draft, Mario was one of the players I was most intrigued by. Very good stat sheet, made the plays on film, above average size, quick speed, and knows how to stop the run AND rush the passer. He will come in and instantly challenge whom ever we start at MLB and WLB. Mario is a smart player with a knack and nose for the football, he can get out of position at times, and does lack some recovery speed, but plays well in space.
- Ryan Jones, CB Northwest Missouri State. But we already drafted our Cornerback this year? We did, however, Rashean Mathis, and his hamstrings aren’t getting any younger, and will need to be replaced after the 2012 season. Ryan Jones would take over the role of the Number Two Corner if Rod Isaac shows signs of struggle. Ryan is plain and simple, built right. Strong, thick core, that doesn’t lack the speed someone of his size normally would. Ryan is a ballhawk who can take risks at times, and sometimes they do not pay off (sound familiar?). A Gene Smith type of player, Ryan knows what to do when he is on the field, and does it well. Netting 6 interceptions last season, he has fluidity in his strides and hips and can mirror most receivers he goes up against (only struggling against taller and bigger framed bodied wide outs).
- Martin Parker, DT Richmond. A rotational player, similar to what Tyson was for us last year, Martin is a force in both the run and pass game with a fiery passion to find the quarterback. Should be used a situational pass rusher and the number one sub for Tyson, the Jaguars wouldn’t lose any production. Martin has a quick first step and a strong upper and lower body, but has only one move and comes in high at times. Such a nose for the football earned Martin MVP honors at the Senior Shrine Bowl, where he had two monster sacks and a forced fumble. With little to no depth of replacements for either Terrance Knighton nor Tyson Alualu, and with D’Anothony Smith coming back from injury, Martin could play a pivotal role in an increasingly solid sturdy defensive line.
- Ryan Bartholomew, OC Syracuse. One of the strongest players in college football last year, Ryan was one of the tops in the bench press netting 34 reps. He can come in and challenge the ever aging Brad Meester for the starting gig at Center. Ryan is an offensive leader who knows how to read defenses. Strong upper body and a solid base has Ryan being equally good in the rushing and passing attack, with the edge going to the rushing game. While being on the shorter side for the Center position, Ryan makes up for this deficit with tactician like offensive skills. He started 35 of 37 collegiate games, and played both guard positions.