The smallest draft class in Jaguars history won't be judged by numbers, but by impact.
Two aggressive trades on the first day of the draft delivered premier pass-rushers Jaguars fans hope will put the team over the top. In the first of those trades, the Jaguars moved up 18 spots in the first round and selected Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey. A round later, the Jaguars moved up six spots and picked Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves. In the process of making those two trades, the Jaguars dealt away half of the team's original eight picks and one of next year's selections.
"Zero," coach Jack Del Rio said. "Exciting; regrets are the last thing," he added.
When last season ended, the Jaguars had distinct needs at wide receiver, cornerback, quarterback and, of course, at defensive end. In free agency, the Jaguars addressed wide receiver, quarterback and cornerback, but failed in their attempts to sign a defensive end.
"To be able to get Jerry Porter done, Drayton Florence done, get David (Garrard) extended; that allowed us to approach the draft differently," Del Rio said.
It allowed the Jaguars to be aggressive in addressing their need at defensive end.
"You can't force it. We were fortunate a couple of cases unfolded. It took somebody really wanting to get out (of their position) for it to happen for Derrick," Del Rio said.
When Del Rio met with reporters shortly after the draft concluded, he appeared to be content with his draft class and especially excited about the 14 undrafted free agents the team had just signed.
"We've been very thorough. We've had a great weekend, capping it off with a great college free-agent class. It may be one of our stronger college free-agent classes," Del Rio said.
One of those undrafted players is Florida center Drew Miller. It was Miller who fell on Groves in last year's Auburn-Florida game and caused three of Groves' toes to be dislocated.
The Jaguars' first-day trades are being hailed by some and criticized by others. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper criticized the Jaguars for "reaching" for Harvey and Groves. Kiper went on to say the team should've traded for Miami veteran defensive end Jason Taylor.
"Everybody likes to play GM. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. That's what makes this time of the year great," Del Rio said.
"We talked," he added of conversations with the Dolphins. "They had a price in mind and nobody in the league was interested in that price. Other than for 'Dancing With The Stars,' no more questions on Jason Taylor, please," Del Rio said.
The question on everyone's mind is whether or not the Jaguars did enough this past weekend to make themselves legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They were a pass-rush away last season.
"Have you ever heard me talking about overtaking someone? We're not going to focus on proclamations. What we need to do is work and see how good we can become over time," Del Rio said.