Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 YEARS OF HITS, MISSES; under Harris and del Rio, Jags Pick Both Wisely, Poorly

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 YEARS OF HITS, MISSES; under Harris and del Rio, Jags Pick Both Wisely, Poorly

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

Vice president of player personnel James "Shack" Harris and coach Jack Del Rio have helped the Jaguars reach the NFL playoffs twice in their five-year regime, and they broke through with a win in 2007. But they've taken only one Pro Bowl player - cornerback Rashean Mathis - during that span.

The Jaguars hope to improve upon that record in next weekend's NFL Draft, in which they have eight picks (a first-rounder, a second-rounder, two third-rounders, one fourth-rounder and three fifth-rounders).

Here are the best and worst picks of the Harris-Del Rio regime.

THE BEST PICKS

1. RASHEAN MATHIS

BETHUNE-COOKMAN, SECOND ROUND, 2003

The Jacksonville native, who had a team-record 74 consecutive starts before being sidelined for two games in 2007 with a groin injury, has established himself as a ball-hawking corner. He holds the team record with 21 interceptions, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2006.

2. LB DARYL SMITH

GEORGIA TECH, SECOND ROUND, 2004

A versatile linebacker who can play outside or in the middle, he has 60 career starts, including 15 at middle linebacker while replacing the injured Mike Peterson. According to the Jaguars' figures, he had over 100 tackles in each of the last three years.

3. RB MAURICE DREW

UCLA, SECOND ROUND, 2006

Besides sharing duties with Fred Taylor, he's a dangerous kick returner. He gained more than 2,000 all-purpose yards in his first two seasons, and his personality and charisma have made him one of the team's most popular players.

4. G VINCE MANUWAI

HAWAII, THIRD ROUND, 2003

He started 66 games in a row before being held out of the regular-season finale against the Houston Texans last season after the Jaguars had clinched a playoff berth. A consistent performer, he's only the sixth Jaguar to start his first game as a rookie.

5. WR ERNEST WILFORD

VIRGINIA TECH, FOURTH ROUND, 2004

Drafted the same year the Jaguars took Reggie Williams in the first round, he outplayed Williams before leaving for the Miami Dolphins as a free agent this offseason. …

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