Will 2013 Draft be About "the One Who Got Away?"

Oct 10, 2013 -- 10:23am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

When we look back on the year that was with this team and see we may have hit another low point in the franchise’s existence, will this draft in 2013 be the one we look at and say it helped us to form the franchise we will be three years from now?

Looking at the eight picks the Jaguars had it appears Dewayne Gratz, Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans will contribute to a solid secondary for years to come. Ace Sanders has shown flashes of the speed he possesses and has been a part the receiving corps and the special teams return game. Denard Robinson is still learning this game but he will help in areas of running and returns and pass catching in short-yardage plays. And of course, Luke Joeckel will be our left tackle for at least five seasons.

When the Jaguars held their first draft, general manager/head coach Tom Coughlin worked on a plan that maximized the needs to the team, starting with a solid tackle in Tony Boselli, found a running back in James Stewart and then drafted players like Brian DeMarco and Bryan Schwartz to build depth. It sounds like a familiar plan. While we were excited about the draft in ‘95 and knew we were a work in progress, I cannot get over how many fans or observers complain about the same kind of pattern for the ‘13 season.

While Coughlin might have been more aggressive at the time than today’s general manager, David Caldwell, the results might yield the same success. And again the team and this city must be patient.

The only thing I question about this franchise and the way Caldwell and Bradley used the draft to improve this team (which may see four rookies in the secondary by the end of the season) is the fourth round and the trade of the top pick to the Philadelphia Eagles so they could select Matt Barkley. While the rookie is third on the Eagles depth chart right now, could he have been a player to come in and light it on fire with this franchise, given the state of the quarterback position here in town. Given the state things are now, will this draft be remembered as the one where Barkley got away?

I was critical the other day - finding six players, including Russell Wilson, who could have been drafted instead of Bryan Anger. While Ace Sanders has been a work in progress with this team and a definite addition of speed, will we look back and say (or Hacker say), “We could have had Matt Barkley and we drafted Ace Sanders?”

Just so you know, we could have also had Ryan Nassib in the same round and after the selection of Sanders. Nassib was chosen by the Giants, some nine picks after Sanders’ name was called.

The draft is such a crap shoot and fools gold is found everywhere. But in this case, when Michael Vick isn’t playing in Philadelphia (maybe here in Jacksonville as the bridge between Teddy Bridgewater and the starting job) next season and there is an injury to Nick Foles, fans will see Matt Barkley’s game. Within a matter of four quarters we shall know the answer to that question.

We all had better hope Barkley is not a Pro Bowl player down the line and in four seasons or so, we are still scratching our heads looking for a player to call our franchise quarterback.

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