"Jaguars This Week" will conduct its annual mock draft tonight. Brian Sexton, Jeff Lageman and I will make the picks on a rotation basis. I don't know which of us will be making the Jaguars' pick and, of course, I don't know who will be available, so that's why I'm going to weigh in now on what I'd do if the pick was mine and, of course, I knew who was available.
Very simply, if he was available, cornerback Darrelle Revis would be my pick, assuming he was the best available player, which he probably would be. Revis has been a fast-climber since he ran a sub-4.4 at his pro-day workout. It was a workout that was described to me by one scout as "phenomenal; the best I've ever seen."
Revis is coming out as a true junior. He's a young man with loads of upside. His body is clean of injury. He has good bloodlines; Sean Gilbert is his cousin. He was an immediate starter at Pitt.
At 6-0, 200, Revis is a big corner. He'll hit you. He's also a top punt-returner. You might remember his "SportsCenter" punt-return against West Virginia last season. Revis has that kind of athletic ability; he was a top basketball player in high school.
The only knock on him is that it's difficult to find tape of him. Almost no opponent threw at him. Syracuse is said to have tested him a little, but that's about it. Interestingly, Louisville didn't look in Revis' direction, which tells us something about Bob Petrino's opinion of Revis.
Your obvious question is: What do you do with Brian Williams? And my obvious answer is: Move him to free safety.
We talked about Williams' ability to play safety when the Jaguars signed him to a pricey free-agent deal a year ago. Williams is a physical defensive back. He's a form tackler. He's a hitter who can play the ball in the air, which makes him a natural for the safety position.
Your next question is: What about that $10 million signing bonus the Jaguars paid Williams? Isn't that too much money to pay a safety?
For starters, that money is already gone and the Jaguars got cornerback value out of it last season and would continue to get cornerback-type value out of it. Sixty percent of the Jaguars' defensive snaps last season were in substitution defenses, which means "nickel" coverage. That means Williams would be a "nickel" back on 60 percent of the snaps.
Let's also not forget that should the Jaguars draft a safety with the 17th pick on Saturday, they'll likely pay that safety $10 million in bonus money. By moving Williams to safety, that bonus money, in effect, has already been paid.
In my opinion, Revis would represent the most efficient and logical choice on the board. He would satisfy every criterion of sound drafting. You would be getting a premium-position player. You would likely be drafting the best available player and, by moving Williams to safety, be satisfying a need.
If Revis turns out to be the star cornerback most expect him to become, he could make the Jaguars defense truly elite. Find a weakness. All of a sudden, the second-ranked defense in the league last season may realistically expect to become number one this season. Imagine Revis and Rashean Mathis locked in man-to-man coverage, allowing Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith to send the "house" at opposing quarterbacks.
The big question is: Will Revis be available? In my opinion, Buffalo will answer that question. The Bills need a corner after having lost Nate Clements. They also need a middle linebacker after having traded Takeo Spikes. If the Bills go linebacker and draft Patrick Willis, Revis could fall to the Jaguars.
If he does, he's my pick.