Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busy Jaguars Wheel, Deal on Second Day of Draft; Jacksonville Trades Johnson, Keeps Darius and Adds Kicker with Selection of Scobee

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Busy Jaguars Wheel, Deal on Second Day of Draft; Jacksonville Trades Johnson, Keeps Darius and Adds Kicker with Selection of Scobee

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO, The Times-Union

The second day of the NFL Draft tends to be a trivia contest for draftniks, but it certainly wasn't anticlimactic for the Jaguars on Sunday.

They traded veteran wide receiver Kevin Johnson, who became expendable after they took Reggie Williams in the first round, kept safety Donovin Darius and took kicker Josh Scobee in the fifth round with one of their six selections in the final four rounds.

The Jaguars drafted five other players besides Scobee on Sunday, but they figure mostly to be special teams or practice squad players if they survive training camp. The group included defensive end Bobby McCray of Florida.

That means the Jaguars drafted one player from both Florida and Florida State among the 10 players they took in this draft. They took running back Greg Jones of FSU in the second round Saturday.

Johnson was swapped to Baltimore for a fourth-round pick because he didn't want to be a backup to Williams, but Darius, who has been boycotting the team's offseason program because he's unhappy with the $4.1 million franchise tag, will apparently be back.

The Jaguars decided they didn't want to give him away when they didn't get what they felt was a value offer for him and his contract.

With their second pick of the second day, Jacksonville took receiver Ernest Wilford of Virginia Tech in the fourth round.

The decision to select Scobee, rated the second-best kicker in the draft, was the highlight of the second day.

By taking him with the fifth pick of the fifth round, they showed they're seriously considering starting the season with a rookie kicker for the third consecutive season.

Unless the Jaguars find a veteran, Scobee will likely duel Mandarin native Jeff Chandler, the highest-rated kicker in the 2002 draft when he was selected in the fourth round by San Francisco before being cut last year.

Seth Marler, who missed 13-of-33 kicks last year, leaving the Jaguars with a 61-percent mark -- the lowest team percentage in the league -- is also still in the mix.

New special teams coach Pete Rodriguez said Marler appeared to lose his confidence when he went into a slump last year.

"The good ones come out of it, and the others find other lines of work," Rodriguez said.

Marler, though, has gotten off to a rocky start with Rodriguez because he has been sidelined with a sore leg after showing up for the offseason program out of kicking shape.

"That sometimes happens to kickers," Rodriguez said. "They think they can take the year off once the season is over. I tried to tell him you don't see a golfer put his club away for three or four months and then come back and expect to be competitive, especially after you kick 61 percent."

When he was asked if Marler got off on his bad side, he said, "You could say that."

By contrast, Rodriguez was lavish in his praise of Chandler's work ethic. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.