Just about every Jaguars fan is familar with Vic Ketchman and his philosophies regarding everything football. Among those was the idea that premium positions such as offensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback and quarterback are the ones that should demand first round draft picks. He often hammered home the point that wide receiver was a position that was at the opposite end of the spectrum and a position at which talent could be found late in the draft.
Looking at the 2010 season, there’s plenty of evidence proving Vic right. Two Pro Bowl receivers were undrafted (Miles Austin and Wes Welker) and three of the top five receivers in receiving yards were drafted outside of the first round (Brandon Lloyd, Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace).
The Jaguars already have a smaller speed receivers in Mike Thomas and hope to have legitimate #2 receiver options in Jason Hill and Jarett Dillard. Also working in the favor of the Jaguars passing offense is Pro Bowl tight end Marcedes Lewis. However, with Mike Sims-Walker set to hit free agency whenever that be, the Jaguars will be without a sure #1 receiver for their offense.
Sources have told Tony Pauline that the Jaguars may look for a bigger possession receiver in round two of the draft in three weeks. That’s not to be taken lightly as Pauline’s sources with the Jaguars are very solid and he was the only one that was ahead of the curve with Alualu to the Jags.
Among prospects that would fit the description of bigger, possession receivers of the second round are: 6’4, 228 pound Jonathan Baldwin, 6’2, 209 pound Leonard Hankerson, 6’3, 209 pound Austin Pettis and 6’2, 201 pound Tandon Doss. However is it really necessary to invest a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a position that has the same exact size and athleticism available later?
The Saints struck gold when they drafted 6’5, 224 pound Marques Colston out of Hofstra in the 2006 draft. With such a huge frame to couple with 4.50 speed and a 37″ vertical, the only explanation for him getting picked 252nd overall is the school that he went to.
The Jaguars are quickly becoming famous for finding talent regardless of the school of the player, so are there players with elite talent in the later rounds that the Jags could target instead of having to use an early pick at receiver? Absolutely.
Raymond Webber is a 6’2, 218 pound receiver from Arkansas-Pine Bluff that has been projected to go undrafted but is garnering interest from several teams. Lester Jean from Florida Atlantic is 6’3, 215 pounds and projected to be a 7th round selection. Ricardo Lockette from Fort Valley State is 6’2, 211 pounds with tremendous 4.34 speed and a 39″ vertical. Depsite Lockette’s athleticism, he’ll likely be a third day selection.
With the Jaguars resigning to allow Mike Sims-Walker to leave through free agency it would not at all be surprising to see the team take a receiver or two in the draft to help bolster their receiving corps. But with equal talent available for cheap in the later rounds, they shouldn’t waste premium selections on the big name players early.