Dave Caldwell has the easiest job in the world this week. The Jaguars rookie general manager cannot make a mistake in the NFL draft.
Think about it: No matter whom he selects with the 2nd, 33rd, 64th, 98th, 135th, 169th and 208th picks –barring any trades, you understand – he’s going to fill a position of need. With the Jaguars expected to replace more than half of its 2012 roster, how can he go wrong?
Before you Jaguars fans start screaming at me I understand when we look back at this draft in a year we may find mistakes all over the place if the drafted players turn out to be another crop of players such as R. Jay Soward, Reggie Williams, Matt Jones, Tyson Alualu, Blaine Gabbert, Derrick Harvey and Cordell Taylor. But for the here and now, Caldwell is in a win-win position. With the 2nd pick, for example, he can fill a big need with a defensive lineman, a defensive back or an offensive lineman. And certainly the team could use help at linebacker, tight end, running back, quarterback and, yes, even wide receiver.
Wait a sec, Caldwell could screw up. What if he drafts a kicker?
One thing is for certain. How ever this draft turns out, Caldwell deserves the credit -- or blame. Owner Shad Khan has, indeed, turned over his $800 million investment to the young Mr. Caldwell.
I’m relatively certain Caldwell seriously listens to advice from his coaches and scouts, but when it comes time to make the pick the decision will be Caldwell’s. The Jaguars’ football operation is no longer run by committee.
And Caldwell will be given two years, probably three, to see if he knows what he’s doing in building an NFL franchise. I think that’s reasonable considering he started from near Ground Zero, being handed perhaps the worst roster in the NFL.
As we witnessed during free agency when the Jaguars concentrated on young, fast and inexpensive players to supplement the team, not gambling on aging and/or expensive stars, don’t expect Caldwell to take risks in the draft. He seems determined to build from the ground up, which means starting with the lines of scrimmage.
Like it or not, if the Jaguars keep the 2nd overall pick they’ll take the surest thing, the offensive tackle not selected by Kansas City. That means you can get ready to welcome Eric Fisher of Central Michigan to our city.
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