Deji Karim

2010 Draft Grades: Jaguars

Wow, where do I even start with this…

I can honestly say that no 1st-round pick has ever shocked me as much as seeing Tyson Alualu go 10th overall. I’ve heard some people defend Gene Smith by saying only time will tell whether it was a bad pick. I disagree 100%. Only time will tell if Bradford was a bad pick for the Rams or Suh a bad pick for the Lions, etc. But Alualu was a bad for the Jaguars no matter what happens.

There’s simply no way that any other team had him graded as a top-20 pick. Some likely didn’t even have him graded as a 2nd-round pick. After the Jaguars selected Alualu 10th overall, both the 11th and 12th picks were promptly traded – further making the Jags look foolish. They easily could have traded with San Diego (who eventually traded up to No. 12) and taken Alualu in the late 1st round. Or at the very least, traded back to No. 13 with the 49ers (who traded up to No. 11) and at least gotten something in return.

Despite my criticisms of the pick, I do need to say this: I really like Tyson Alualu. I was fully prepared to praise someone for grabbing him in the early 2nd round, or even the late 1st (maybe the Colts or Saints). However, he does have his flaws. He’s a pass-rushing interior lineman, but may not have the size and strength to excel at the next level. As much asĀ  like him, he just wasn’t worth a top-10 pick.

If the selection of Alualu wasn’t bad enough, they spent their next pick on another defensive tackle, D’Anthony Smith. I can understand adding one tackle, as it allowed them to release John Henderson, but two? Terrence Knighton was impressive as a rookie last year and I don’t see how Smith fits into their plans as anything more than a backup.

They finally added some pass rushers in the 5th round with Larry Hart and Austen Lane. Although I wonder if Hart will eventually be switched to strong-side linebacker. He’s slightly undersized and may not be a great fit for playing with his hand on the ground in the NFL. I love the selection of Lane, however. I think he can be groomed as the eventual replacement for Aaron Kampman.

Deji Karim could be a steal in the 6th round. I like him a lot, but the only problem is, he may be too similar to Maurice Jones-Drew. Both are small bowling ball-type running backs. For that reason, I think he’ll struggle to beat out Rashad Jennings as the backup job. They need someone who’s a change of pace from Jones-Drew, not a clone.

Scotty McGee was a questionable 6th-round pick. There were better return specialists on the board. I’m rarely surprised to see a name come off the board by the 6th round, but I was genuinely surprised to hear his name called at all on draft day. They did need a return specialist, however, so I can’t argue too much with taking a chance on one in that late in the draft.

This was a terrible draft from start to finish. Gene Smith, who put together a fairly impressive 2009 draft class, embarrassed himself with the selection of Tyson Alualu. If Alualu fails to pan out, he’ll be out of a job sooner rather than later. For a franchise that desperately needed to make a splash to excite the fan base, they failed miserably.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Jaguars Comments Off

Combine Invitations Officially Released

combineThe 2010 NFL Combine invitations have been handed out. When over 200 players are invited, they’re never going to miss any big names. But, as always, a few names do appear to be missing from the list. Here’s a few snubs that caught my eye:

Freddie Barnes – WR – Bowling Green

Easily the worst of the snubs. He doesn’t have impressive measurables, but the guy can play. He’ll be a 4th or 5th round pick.

Bill Stull – QB – Pittsburgh
After a truly awful junior year Stull rebounded and was arguably the best quarterback in the Big East last season. He deserves a serious look in the late rounds.

Jonathan Crompton – QB – Tennessee
Like Stull, Crompton came out of nowhere and was impressive late in the season. He has the size and arm strength, so if it really did click for him this past season he’s a legitimate prospect.

Matt Nichols – QB – Eastern Washington
I always like to see FCS players get invited to the combine because its their chance to shine in front of a large audience. We already know what to expect from the big school guys. He has the size, and put up great numbers (33 TD, 6 Int) this season.

LaMarcus Coker – RB – Hampton
Coker was kicked out of Tennessee for failing multiple drug tests, but looked good during his time at Hampton. His athleticism, plus his experience on special teams could land him a spot in the late rounds.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald – DE – Kansas State
Fitzgerald isn’t a great athlete, but he has elite size and strength for the position. He may be a candidate to switch inside to defensive tackle. Could also play end in a 3-4.

Deji Karim – RB – Southern Illinois
Only 5’9″, but has good speed and is well built. Would have benefited from showing off his strength in person and dispelling the belief that he’s too small.

Danny Batten – DE – South Dakota State
Highly productive FCS player that should be a mid-to-late round selection. He has the athleticism to play linebacker in a 3-4 system.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off