Draft day decision makers: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars named Gene Smith their General Manger in 2009. Before that James Harris was the Vice President of Player Personnel and called the shots on draft day. Smith has been with this team since 1994 when he was hired as a scout. In 2000 he was named the Director of College Scouting. Now he is the man who calls the shots on draft day and his first two drafts have been pretty good. He has made 15 picks for this team and all 15 still wear a Jaguars jersey.

We actually know a little bit about Smith’s draft day tendencies. For the most part he identifies the team’s number one position of need, and then spends one or two of his high round draft picks securing players for that position. He drafted two offensive tackles in 2009 and two defensive tackles in 2010. This year it would not surprise me to see the Jaguars draft two defensive needs in the high rounds of the draft. He has a tendency to draft from the smaller BCS programs and in the later round from smaller schools in general.

We also know that Smith does not rely on the NFL scouting Combine or performance indicators when the players he is looking at are wearing shorts and t shirts. Smith likes to see what players do on the field, and relies heavily on game film to evaluate his players. Even though he seems to be in favor of taking the best player available strategy, and has instructed his scouts not to worry about his team’s needs. His performance on draft day seems to indicate a more focused attention on players at positions of need.

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