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Jeff Fisher could be Jaguars' nemesis one more time as NFL Draft approaches

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher talks with reporters during the NFC Head Coaches Breakfast at the NFL football meetings in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 26, 2014.  AP Photo/John Raoux
AP Photo/John Raoux
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher talks with reporters during the NFC Head Coaches Breakfast at the NFL football meetings in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

The Jaguars rivalry with coach Jeff Fisher has waned now that he is coaching the St. Louis Rams and they play the Jaguars only once every four years.

It was different when he was coaching the Titans in the Jaguars division and beat them three times in 1999, including a victory in the AFC title game that cost them a Super Bowl berth.

He then needled the Jaguars by saying Alltel Stadium, which was the name of EverBank field in those days, was one of his home fields.

It turns out, though, that Fisher could be the Jaguars’ nemesis one more time now that he has the second pick in the draft he picked up from Washington in the Robert Griffin III trade.

The conventional wisdom in the draft is that Houston will take a quarterback with the first pick and St. Louis will take an offensive lineman with the second pick, leaving the Jaguars to get the best pass rusher, Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney will host his Pro Day Wednesday at South Carolina and it is the big event on the NFL calendar this week.

Considered the best athlete in the draft, Clowney figures to have a spectacular pro day.

But Fisher could stymie the Jaguars by taking Clowney himself or trade the pick to a team that wants him.

Fisher has a bigger need for an offensive lineman than a pass rusher and he has been expected to take Greg Robinson of Auburn or Jake Matthews of Texas A@M in the draft at the second spot. Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthew, who once played for Fisher.

Still, Fisher has opened the door for Clowney and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch even has the Rams taking him in their mock draft.

Fisher said last week at the owners’ meetings, “I’ve learned over the years that you never have enough pass rushers. And I think it’s not only us, but other teams that are in our situation, are creative enough to find ways to get (Clowney) on the field and put him in a position to make plays.’’

There was speculation that Clowney took plays off last year to avoid getting hurt as he recorded just three sacks.

Fisher brushes that off.

“Not if you watch the games, it’s not (a red flag). Because the effort’s there. You’ve got to give the offenses credit, too. I mean they were aware of where he was. They turned the center towards him. When the ball came out, they’d check out with backs just like we do in our league with good rushers. So, no, you see a lot of other really big plays throughout the year. Consistent big plays, whether they’re chase down plays down the field or plays against the run,’’ Fisher said.

Of course, Fisher could be bluffing about his interest in Clowney. It’s part of the draft tradition to keep opposing teams guessing.

But if Fisher pulls a surprise and takes Clowney or trades the pick to a team that wants him, the Jaguars will have to go in a  different direction.

They’re not likely take an offensive lineman with the third pick after selecting Luke Joeckel with the second pick last year so wide receiver Sammy Watkins or pass rusher Khalil Mack would appear to be their next options.

The Jaguars are likely to be impressed by Clowney Wednesday, at his Pro Day, but they won’t know until May 8 if they can get him.

Houston is still expected to take a quarterback with the first pick but coach Bill O’Brien insists all options are on the table and the Texans have a dinner meeting planned with Clowney Tuesday night before his workout. It remains to be seen if that visit will be a smokescreen.

So the draft intrigue will continue for the next few weeks.  




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693 points
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 8:55 pm
Premium Member

Jungle pay attention please, or are you still trying to figure out that Bortles isn't a Gator. There's a big difference between left and right tackle. Pay scale for a premium vs non premium position is one. Players that can play both with equal efficency are rare and highly sought after. i.e. Matthews.

Jungle Cat
8694 points
Jungle Cat
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

The fabricated, pat answer seems to be 'but he's a left tackle'.

The question is NOT 'right' or 'left' tackle. Supposing we are fortunate enough to be able to draft Jake Matthews, 'right' or 'left', 'left' or 'right' just tells everyone you know nothing about football.

Jake is a offensive lineman. He is elite talent at any of the five positions on the offensive line. You know nothing about Jake Matthews and you never examined his Texas A&M career in even glancing detail. If Luke Joeckel was the starting left tackle for the Aggies where did Jake Matthews play?

Many NFL scouting experts already know Jake has invaluable talent. He is considered elite, franchise talent and will provide the team intelligent enough to value his play-making skills All-Pro level play for ten years or more.

The question is when will Jaguars' fans become intelligent enough to know what drafting Jake Matthews does for our offensive line.

Fifty sacks in 2012. Fifty sacks in 2013.

The correct answer is to draft more quarterbacks?

2717 points
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

The Luke arguement is not valid, his Availability is missing, and that is one item GS was indeed correct about. Therefore, Monroe was our only starting LT, and a casualty of a cheap franchise. Actually a top 6 LT, Monroe will not be easily replaced, Meester not easily replaced, and Justin Blackmon not easily replaced with like talent.

693 points
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 6:20 pm
Premium Member

You argue your point well and I can see your point of view. Just as you say the argument is moot because Ozzie gave Monroe a 4yr contract, I say if Joeckel turns out to be a top ten LT and we get value out of the picks we got for Monroe it will mean Caldwell's decision helped the team in the long term. It will mean we got an equal player at a premium position on a scaled rookie contract plus extra picks in a very talented draft class. This seems like a logical decision for a rebuilding team.

Lets just say we agree to disagree. I enjoyed the debate though.

The Patient
4425 points
The Patient
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

Here you go and it didn't take me but the first search result - http://www.bigcatcountry.com/2013/1/24/3910892/nfl-draft-2013-luke-joeck...

Big Cat Country - I am not a big fan of Alfie's but he uses the grade and explains the situation well in this article. Eugene Monroe was graded a top ten LT.

Caldwell failed in this move.