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Gene Smith Drafts for One Need, Talent

We hear all the time that Gene Smith is a “BAP” drafter. What does that mean? It means that regardless of positions of need, the Jaguars take the highest rated player at the top of their board when it’s their turn to pick. The Jaguars’ philosophy isn’t the only correct way to draft players. The Atlanta Falcons are a strict needs drafting team, and they’ve done very well under that system. Gene Smith has been acquiring talent since he took over as GM of the Jaguars back in early 2009. Let’s look at the system that has kept the Jaguars afloat.

At this time last year, no one could have predicted that Tyson Alualu would be drafted tenth overall by the Jaguars. I remember sitting around the TV with some friends, and I had a giddy feeling as the pick was announced. I’ll be first to admit, I was crushed for about five minutes. One of my friends ridiculed me about the pick, but I made a decision to postpone judgement until a year had passed, and I have to say, I couldn’t be happier.

Alualu made an instant impact on the defensive side of the ball. He knifes into the backfield on running plays incredibly well. He has the potential to be a game changer. He was considered a reach at number 10, and he was picked by a team that many expected to trade back and take Tim Tebow. Gene Smith showed that he’ll pick the guy he thinks is best for the team, and that’s the kind of commitment in upper personnel management that I like to see.

Gene Smith uses free agency to fill in any remaining gaps in the roster after the draft. Free agency may not be available when the draft rolls around, but I guarantee that it will come eventually. When it does, I expect the Jaguars to be active among the middle of the road teams. The Jaguars might pick up one big name guy (Eric Weddle would be popular), but I fully expect new talent to be the focus of the Jaguars off-season.

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