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Playing it safe may not be an option


What does the first round of the NFL draft and marriage have in common? They'll each cost you a lot of money if you make the wrong choice.

So, to whom will the Jaguars "wed" themselves this Saturday? With the ninth pick of the draft, they will certainly have tantalizing options.

There will be those players who would be simple and safe choices. Oklahoma safety Roy Williams heads the list. His talent is excessive for a position that may be the least-demanding of all, and his size and speed offer the potential for him to be used in several ways.

North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims would be a simple and safe pick. He's big, talented, dedicated and coachable. He's an every-downs player who represents almost no risk. Though some would argue Sims lacks highlight-film ability, it's agreed that, at worst, Sims will be a durable guy you will pencil into the lineup for the next several years.

Those are your two can't-miss guys. If either one is available when the Jaguars pick, he would be a sensible choice that would make "mother" proud. Sims would clearly fit a need. Unfortunately, the Jaguars' lack of need at safety might turn them away from Williams, and that's when "mother" would start to worry.

Every other candidate to be the Jaguars' first-round pick would seem to introduce the risk factor; real pretty girl, but there are some things in her background.

Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie never allowed a sack in his career at Miami, but he's not real light on his feet and his intensity has been questioned.

Texas' Mike Williams projects as a right offensive tackle only, and there are major questions about Williams' ability to keep his weight down and about a suspicious knee injury.

Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth is said to be the most physically-gifted of all the defensive tackles, but Haynesworth is also said to be immature and unreliable and he needs to add strength to reach his full potential.

Teammate John Henderson was the preseason leader to be the first pick of the draft, but Henderson's senior season was dogged by injuries and there are major questions about the health of his back. He is also said to play high, which was the knock on Marcus Stroud a year ago, and playing high isn't ideal for defensive tackles.

Wisconsin's Wendell Bryant has the speed of a tight end, but the rap on Bryant is he takes plays off. "Mother" hates that.

Miami cornerback Phillip Buchanon may be available to the Jaguars. Buchanon has scintillating athletic ability, but he's smallish and not real physical, and "mother" doesn't like the small ones.

The Jaguars' options this Saturday would seem to come down to this: Make the safe pick with either Roy Williams or Sims, "walk down the aisle" with one of the "real pretty girls," or trade out of the spot and move into another pool of eligibles who represent even greater risk.

What would "mother" say? "Mother" would say that if Roy Williams is available and you pick somebody else, don't bring her home for Thanksgiving.

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