Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin had his choice of the two players he coveted most. Why did he select Georgia defensive tackle Marcus Stroud over Florida offensive tackle Kenyatta Walker? "Our defense must be improved if we're going to improve, and that's why Marcus Stroud is here," Coughlin told reporters following the selection of Stroud with the 13th pick of today's NFL draft.
Consensus of opinion was that Walker was the player the Jaguars wanted for their right offensive tackle position, which has seen the Jaguars lose Leon Searcy and Todd Fordham in free agency. However, few thought Walker would make it out of the top 10 picks. Apparently, the Jaguars were successful at creating a great smokescreen.
The Jaguars turned their nose up at Walker because the AFC Central is the NFL's big-back division, and stopping the run is something at which the Jaguars must decidedly improve if they are to have any chance of competing for the division title in 2001.
Stroud is a massive and athletic defensive tackle whose only knock are reports that he often gives less than maximum effort. However, Coughlin described Stroud as having a "great motor, and he fills the doorway up."
The Tampa Bay Bucs thought enough of Walker to trade with Buffalo and into the 14th spot, which the Bucs used to select Walker.