It's called a wish list and it's not to be confused with a value board or a mock draft. A wish list is what you wish you could have.
A wish list is what a personnel director wants from his head coach when the two meet prior to the draft. The personnel director will say, "Give me your wish list, in order of importance," and then he'll add, "but I'm not making any promises."
The head coach will follow by telling his personnel director that he wants a guy at this position and a guy at that position, etc. The personnel director makes notes and then repairs to his draft room where his value board scrolls across all four walls.
All right, let's make believe GM Gene has just walked into our office. We're the head coach of the Jaguars – no offense, Jack – and GM Gene wants us to give him our wish list. Here's mine.
I want a young-lion defensive lineman, much as Terrance Knighton was last season. That's number one on my wish list. I want another big-guy cornerstone and I don't care if he's a pass-rusher or a run-stuffer. I'll take Jason Pierre-Paul or Derrick Morgan or Dan Williams or anyone you judge to be worthy of the pick and the development, GM Gene. Just get me another Knighton.
After that, I want a run-and-hit linebacker. I don't care if he's an inside guy or an outside guy. I want a guy with a well-rounded game. I want a guy who can drop into coverage but will also square his shoulders and make a form tackle. I want a guy like that guy Buffalo had last year, who made 12 tackles and forced a fumble at a key time in the game. Yeah, in this day and age of terrible tackling, I wanna guy that can tackle. Get me a tackling machine.
Here are some other things I want:
- I want more speed on defense. I don't care what position they play, just find guys that can run and I'll find ways to use them.
- Get me a safety that can hit. Forget about that obsession of the past for playmakers. Just get me a guy in the back that'll hit and my coaches will turn him into a playmaker. First things first and being physical is the first thing.
- I know this isn't a center draft and we kind of missed our chance last year, but we need to find a guy that can be developed at that position while we still have Brad Meester.
- Get me a pounder. Put that last on your list, but if one should present itself at the top of your board when it's your turn to pick, don't be shy. He doesn't have to have wiggle; all he needs to be able to do is pound in short-yardage situations, like that guy Miami has.
As you can see, the needs are significant, but they're not outlandish. This year's draft is loaded with talent. With a little bit of luck, the Jags might, in fact, find what they need.