Who’s worth the 16th pick?

I guess you could call them high standards, or maybe I was spoiled by Eugene Monroe in 2009, but I’ve always liked the idea of drafting a player that isn’t just worth your draft pick, but is higher rated than that and should’ve been picked earlier. Monroe, for example, was considered by most to be the best offensive tackle in the 2009 draft and a sure-fire top 5 pick. On my board, Monroe was the 2nd rated player behind only Aaron Curry and a steal for the Jaguars at 8th overall.

In 2010, the Jaguars again drafted someone that people didn’t expect them to when they took Tyson Alualu at 10th, but that was unexpected for the completely opposite reason. In hindsight, Alualu may or may not have been one of the elite prospects in the draft that was worth the 10th pick, but at the time just prior to the draft he was not considered a candidate.

So barring another left field Alualu pick that doesn’t make sense until afterwards and knowing what we know now, how many players would be considered a steal at the 16th pick and how many would be worth staying put instead of trading down to acquire more value? My answer to that would be nine.

If one of nine prospects slip to the 16th overall selection, I believe the Jaguars would have a no-brainer selection and a pick that would be considered a steal by most. I would consider Patrick Peterson, A.J. Green, Von Miller, Marcel Dareus, Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, Blaine Gabbert, Da’Quan Bowers and Cameron Jordan those nine. 

Although doubtful, if one of these prospects fall out of the top 10 that many expect them to go I believe that they would not only be worth the 16th pick, but even more than that. 

In the event that all nine of these prospects are off the board, I am a strong believer that the Jaguars should trade down. Barring a tremendous amount of value available at 16, which would be one of the nine listed earlier, the Jaguars would be much better off trading down, acquiring more value later in the draft and taking a player of the next tier of talent.

Targeting a quarterback in the first round or early second round has been my strategy of choice for a long time now, and trading down is the best approach for that strategy in my opinion. After trading down, the Jaguars will be in good position to choose either Jake Locker, Christian Ponder or Colin Kaepernick. However, if Peterson, Green, Miller, Dareus, Quinn, Amukamara, Gabbert, Bowers or Jordan are available at 16 I don’t believe the Jaguars will be able to pass up on the opportunity to select them.