CLUB HAS THREE PICKS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY
The Jaguars enter Saturday, the final day of the draft, with three picks. The club owns the 17th pick (114th overall) and 24th picks (121st) in the fourth round and the 16th pick (147th overall) of the fifth round. The three picks in the final four rounds would tie for the fewest in franchise history (2006, 2008).
RECAPPING THE TRADES
The Jaguars made a trade in each of the first two days of the draft which resulted in the club moving up in the draft to make a selection:
- Jaguars' 1st (16) and 2nd (49)-round selections to Washington for Washington's 1st (10, QB Blaine Gabbert)-round selection. Washington selected DE Ryan Kerrigan with pick 16 and traded pick 49 to Indianapolis, who selected G Ben Ijalana.
- Jaguars' 3rd (80) and 6th (182)-round selections to San Francisco for San Francisco's 3rd (76, G Will Rackley)-round selection. San Francisco selected S Chris Culliver with pick 80.
NO SECOND ROUND PICK
The Jaguars were without a second round pick in this year's draft for the second consecutive year. The club traded its second-round pick in this year's draft to Washington on Thursday to select quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
HISTORY OF QUARTERBACKS IN THE TOP 10
There have been only 15 quarterbacks selected in the top 10 in the 11 previous drafts. Jaguars first-round pick Blaine Gabbert was the 10th overall pick by the Jaguars on Thursday and one of three quarterbacks selected in the top 10. Five of the 15 quarterbacks selected in the top 10 since 2000 made seven or fewer starts in their rookie season including Michael Vick (2 starts, 2001), Eli Manning (7 starts, 2004), Philip Rivers (0 starts, 2004), Alex Smith (7 starts, 2005) and JaMarcus Russell (1 start, 2007).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT WILL RACKLEY
"He&39;s never been late for anything in his life. I mean, never. No matter how trivial the event, Will was always on time."
Lehigh offensive line coach Brett Sawyer to Morning Call newspaper about Will Rackley
"Everyone associated with the Lehigh Football family is thrilled for Will. He has worked incredibly hard to get to this point and I have no doubt he will be successful in the NFL. Will was a special player at Lehigh and has always represented the university and the Patriot League in a first class manner. It was a privilege to have Will in our program."
Lehigh head coach Andy Coen
"The things I like best about him are his versatility, his work ethic and his character. He's been a left tackle. I think just looking at him anybody would say he looks like an interior player. He plays with good leverage and leg drive and I think that will suit him well in the interior line. He's athletic and smart. I think he is a guy that could potentially cross-train even as a center."
Jaguars offensive line coach Andy Heck
"Strong kid, strong in weight room, applies that strength on the football field. He can factor inside. Will Rackley will be a guy who should move into a starter fairly early in his pro career."
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr.
"As with any rookie, we'll give him the opportunity to come in and compete. He has the physical skill set to do it, it's just a matter of how early. The offensive line certainly is the one position other than quarterback that needs to be taught the most because there is so much technique and footwork involved. Again, he played left tackle. For us he's probably more of an interior offensive lineman at this level. We feel very good about him becoming a member of our team."
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith
SMITH EXPLAINS THE WAY DRAFT FALLS
General Manager Gene Smith went into the draft with several needs to upgrade the roster and one of the those areas was improving the defensive side of the ball. The Jaguars used their first two picks to select offensive players, quarterback Blaine Gabbert and guard Will Rackley, and Smith said it's simply his philosophy of taking the best available player.
"The one thing you don't want to do on draft day is make decisions that are emotionally driven, decisions that are about really trying to fix something for next year and not for the year after that or the year after that," Smith said. "I'm for trusting our work. If it means another offensive player with our next selection then that's what it means. If it means three more defensive players, if we're fortunate enough for the draft to work out that way, that would be great, but there's only so much we can control."
This is Smith's third year overseeing the club's draft and all three drafts have one thing in common: the same side of the ball has been targeted with the first two picks. Offensive tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton were the first two picks in 2009 and defensive tackles Tyson Alualu and D'Anthony Smith led the class in 2009.
WHO SAYS I NEED THE GREEN ROOM?
Will Rackley knew the chance of him being drafted in the first round was slim but it didn't stop him for experiencing the madness in New York City. Rackley and his father, William, sat in the crowd at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday as fans thanks to his agent scoring a pair of tickets.
"It was cool seeing all those fans going crazy, seeing some of the guys I saw at the combine," Rackley said.
They flew back to Atlanta on Friday to enjoy the draft festivities with the rest of the family.
ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS
It's no secret that some questions surrounded quarterback Blaine Gabbert when he decided to enter the NFL draft following his junior season. Gabbert played in a spread offense at Missouri and spent most of his time taking snaps in the shotgun. In two seasons as a starter, he attempted 920 passes including 475 as a junior.
"We were in deeper shotgun than most offenses, but the transition has been easy," Gabbert said.
One of the reasons the transition has been easier is because he played the traditional quarterback role at Parkway West High School. He got quickly reacquainted with the basic fundamentals when he traveled to Arizona to train at Athletes Performance with other NFL prospects that included Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder.
"I have a background in taking three, five and seven-step drops so there really has been zero difficulty making that transition from the spread to an under-center pro offense," Gabbert said. "
Gabbert was able to spend a couple hours on Friday at EverBank Field with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard. The staff made sure not to overwhelm him with information but Gabbert was happy to get a head start.
"The biggest thing you've got to learn is new terminology," Gabbert said. "The concepts are extremely similar but they're called different. The protections are different and that's going to be the biggest adjustment period for most all rookie quarterbacks."
MAKING HIS SCHOOL PROUD
Will Rackley became the first player in franchise history drafted by the Jaguars from a Patriot League school. In addition, he is the highest drafted Lehigh player since 1974 and the first player to be drafted since 1995 when Rich Owens was selected by Washington in the fifth round. Rackley is the eighth Lehigh player to be selected overall.
JAGUARS OFFENSIVE LINE COACH HAS HISTORY WITH THIRD-ROUND PICK
Jaguars offensive line coach Andy Heck knows exactly what he is getting in offensive guard Will Rackley, thanks to a friend. Rackley's offensive line coach, Brett Sawyer, and Heck were assistants together on the University of Virginia coaching staff from 2001-02.
"I've been hearing about this young man since he was a freshman in college and I trust in the character references I've gotten on him," Heck said. "And the experience I've had in meeting him, spending some time with him, I think he's going to fit in beautifully here."
Rackley will be making the move to the interior of the line after spending the last three seasons at left tackle. He was a three-time All-Patriot League selection and was regarded as the one of the most dominant tackles in the conference's history.
"I think he plays a very physical game but when you meet him and speak to him you're not going to say, 'Wow, he's nasty,'" Heck said. "He's got everything you want in an offensive lineman. He's got nasty now, but I think that he's thoughtful, smart, intense. Like a good offensive lineman, I don't think he'll stand out one way or another in terms of personality. That's the way I like them anyway."
DID YOU KNOW?
Jaguars third-round pick Will Rackley is scheduled to graduate on May 23 with a degree in product design.
Blaine Gabbert didn't hesitate when asked on Friday if he was a St. Louis Rams fan growing up. Gabbert grew up in Ballwin, Mo., which is located approximately 20 miles west of St. Louis.
"I did," he said. "I always had Rams season tickets growing up back in the old days, with like Tony Banks and Kurt Warner and all those guys."