What Gene Smith is Trying to Do

Gene Smith has a lot on his plate at this time of the year. He’s balancing 2 different tasks. He has to be identifying young talent that can be acquired through the draft, and he has to be identifying targets for free agency.

First, let’s tackle the draft. The Jaguars have a lot of needs this year, but they are a best available player (BAP) team. This philosophy is often misunderstood. If you missed it, you can check out a relatively short explanation of BAP here. The key here is that Gene Smith has to match value of a pick with need. This usually involves moving around in the draft. That could be difficult this year because teams may not be able to trade players for picks.

The next challenge is finding a scouting balance between the draft and free agency. Free agency could open up as soon as April 6th, and when it does, teams will be jockeying for big name players. With the uncertainty of the CBA, free agents may be willing to sign more quickly in free agency.

Finally, Gene Smith has to be prepared on draft day. Last year, the Jaguars surprised everyone by picking Tyson Alualu with the 10th pick of the draft. Frankly, it’s been a blockbuster pick, but Gene Smith and Co. have to be ready to do it all again this year. Gene Smith has to get the most possible bang for his minutes of work. He’s done a good job to this point, but April is the busiest month of the year for the personnel department, and this year, it will challenge every teams’ scouts. The teams with the best scouts will be the same teams playing football in late January next year.

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