Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Finale Will Determine How High They Draft; Both Stress Need to Win, but Game Is Filled with Implications for 2012

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Finale Will Determine How High They Draft; Both Stress Need to Win, but Game Is Filled with Implications for 2012

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

The top seven slots in the 2012 NFL Draft will be in play on Sunday when the Jaguars end their season against the Indianapolis Colts.

If the Colts lose, they will clinch the No. 1 overall pick and likely select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. If they win, they will fall to No. 2 behind St. Louis if the Rams lose to San Francisco.

The Jaguars are currently are in the fourth position, but can finish as high as third or as low as seventh depending on what happens around the league on Sunday.

A loss and the Jaguars would likely stay in the fourth spot, but could move up to third if Minnesota beats Chicago. The Jaguars and Vikings would be 4-12, but the Jaguars would have the strength of schedule tie-break edge.

The Jaguars could fall to seventh if they win and Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Washington all lose.

These scenarios are the topic of much conversation among fans, but not in the Jaguars' locker room.

The team's lone focus is getting a win and ending the season on an upbeat note.

"I understand the thought process, getting the high draft pick and all that,'' said middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. "That's not the reality for us, We play every game to win regardless of the record.''

Guard Uche Nwaneri said he wasn't even aware of the draft pick chatter.

"I didn't know people were talking about not winning the game,'' he said. "Why wouldn't you win the game? What would you be saying about yourself as a competitor if you go out there trying to lose. That's hideous."

"It completely goes against what we do this for," added defensive end Jeremy Mincey. "You never play to lose. Ask people if you go to work to get fired. I'm going to work to keep my job. Guys want jobs. They've got bills to pay. That's part of being a professional. As long as you say you gave it your all, you can look yourself in the mirror.''

The Colts, who've won two in a row after starting 0-13, say the same.

"That's the last thing on our minds," defensive end Dwight Freeney said of getting the top pick. …

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