|Trent Richardson will be a great running back for one NFL team, but that won't be the Jacksonville Jaguars.|
Yesterday, I linked you to various early mock drafts around the internet. Many of those mocks have the Jaguars taking either Quinton Coples or Dre Kirkpatrick, both legitimate selections in my mind. Another mock (the only one with trades mind you) had the Jaguars trading down to the Bengals' 21st selection and taking Kendall Wright. That makes good sense because the Jaguars may want extra picks and Wright comes at a position of need (WR).
Then there was the Optimum Scouting mock draft. It was the only one of the bunch I thought was way off base. Here's what it had to say,
"7 . Jacksonville Jaguars - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
-Maurice Jones-Drew is inching closer running the tread off his tires (Jacksonville's fault), and they'll need to replace him. Heard a rumor that if Richardson is here, the Jaguars WILL take him."
No, no, no, and a thousand times no. The Jaguars aren't likely to draft a running back with the seventh pick of the draft. I'm not saying they won't draft one; quite contrary, if an RB is there for you with good value after the first round, take him, but there's no sense in throwing the seventh pick of the draft at a position the Jaguars are actually well set at.
I'm hoping assuming the guys over at Optimum Scouting are simply experiencing symptoms of being generalists, and I don't mean that as an insult. Readers and writers that narrowly focus their attention on a select few teams become intimately close with that team. That's why it's better to trust local media members than the Mel Kiper-s of the world. They simply know the team and its needs far more closely.
It's for that reason that we can say, no, the Jaguars will not be drafting Trent Richardson. Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the toughest, most resilient players in the league, and he's coming off of his first rushing title. Yeah, the Jaguars have probably run him harder than necessary over the past few years, but he's also one of the most durable guys in the league.
That being said, the Jaguars do need to develop a backup running back that can take the load off of Jones-Drew. What's this? I see the Jaguars already have that guy. His name is Rashad Jennings. He was absent throughout 2011 with a season-ending injury that really shouldn't have ended his season, but the Jaguars popped him on IR anyways. That's a discussion for another day I suppose.
My point is that the Jaguars have bigger needs where they can get more value out of the seventh pick than by selecting Trent Richardson. Richardson is a great runner. He's big, tough, and runs hard every play he gets the ball. It's nothing against his performance, but the Jaguars aren't looking for another star running back. So that rumor about the Jaguars taking Richardson if he's there? I'll call bulls#$t on that.