The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2013 NFL Draft with eight players, most of which were defensive backs. They completely transformed their pass defense by drafting three corners and two safeties. They selected a slot receiver in the later rounds and drafted a project that will most likely end up playing running back. With their first selection, second overall, they solidified their line claiming Blaine Gabbert isn’t a bad quarterback when he has time to throw the ball.
Round 1, Pick 2 – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M – Joeckel is an extremely sound and technical tackle. He has a quick first step and good hand placement. He gets on his blocks quickly in the run game. He can move up to the second level, as well. He is very good in pass protection, using quick punches to keep the defender away. His great athleticism and foot speed make him a more than capable blocker. He had heavy production in the SEC, which is a defensive powerhouse. He isn’t as powerful as a coach would like for a left tackle, which allows bigger players to bull rush him and shed blocks against the run.
Luke Joeckel Grade – A+
Round 2, Pick 33 – Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International – Cyprien is a big in the box enforcer. He is a very solid tackler. He has the quickness to cover slot receivers, and come up on the run. He can run through blocks and thick piles to wrap up ball carriers. He is also quick and strong enough to get passed receiver’s blocks. He is very aggressive and gets beat deep and on play action. He doesn’t have the range to play a single deep safety, but can cover half of the field.
Jonathan Cyprien Grade – A-
Round 3, Pick 64 – Dwanye Gratz, CB, Connecticut- Gratz has the size for the NFL. He is a physical corner that isn’t afraid to hit someone. He will lay the wood on a receiver that just touched the ball, or come up to the line on run plays. He blitzed often at Connecticut, so he is experienced coming off the edge. He has good hands to knock the receivers off target. He also stays low in his stance to make breaks and undercut throws. He has above average ball skills to snag interceptions out of the air. Gratz’s aggression works against him sometimes as he is caught looking in the backfield as the receiver blows by him. He doesn’t have the makeup speed once he has been beaten deep. He drops too early on tackles on occasion, as well.
Dwayne Gratz Grade – B+
Round 4, Pick 101 – Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina – Ace Sanders showed growth at South Carolina and had fairly good production. He is extremely quick in and out of his breaks and can make people miss in the open field. He has reliable hands and doesn’t use his body to catch the ball much. He is a spectacular return man, which will bring another element to the table. He only real knock against this kid is that he is too short (5’7) and is going to have to stick in the slot. There may be concerns about Sanders getting injured after taking big hits too.
Ace Sanders Grade – B+
Round 5, Pick 135 – Denard Robinson, RB, Michigan – Denard Robinson is a freak of nature. He has elite speed and quickness. He can make people miss in the open field. Robinson is a very patient runner, even though he doesn’t have much experience at running back. He is small, but welcomes contact and will fight for extra yardage. He has a thick lower body, which makes him hard to tackle. He has a very good football IQ that will help in his position change. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and is deadly in space. He is small for a running back and teams are worried that he will wear down. He needs to find a certain position and work on his ball security. He also needs to work on pass protection, if running back is the position he plays.
Denard Robinson Grade – A-
Round 6, Pick 169 – Josh Evans, S, Florida – Evans improved each year while at Florida, finding his way to starting all 13 games his final year. He is a solid tackler, leading Florida last season. He can attack the ball in the air and doesn’t shy away from contact. He isn’t as fluid as a coach would like and he doesn’t work through blocks on occasion.
Josh Evans Grade – C+
Round 7, Pick 208 – Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State – Harris is an extremely athletic kid. He has great size at 6’2, but needs to add a little weight to become more physical. He is both fast and quick, with great explosion. He needs to refine his ball skills and attack routes more.
Jeremy Harris Grade – C+
Round 7, Pick 210 – Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State – McCray is a physical corner that has experience all over the place. At Appalacian State, he played both corners and free safety. He has a knack for finding the ball and good enough ball skills to attack it for an interception. He is a decent tackler, but can put work in on it. He also will need to work on identifying routes and plays.
Demetrius McCray Grade – C
Jaguars Overall Grade – A-