Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nobody Asked Me but . . . FSU's Smith a Good Fit

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nobody Asked Me but . . . FSU's Smith a Good Fit

Article excerpt

They call me IE. Short for Instant Evaluation.

That name was given to me courtesy of Rick Reiprish, the Jaguars director of pro personnel. Reiprish is one of the rising stars in the evaluation of college talent, a guy who really knows his stuff and is passionate about his work.

He is one of the few people in the Jaguars organization who has challenged coach Tom Coughlin in the past. It's an approach that has earned Reiprish a lot of respect from his boss and earned him a promotion after Ron Hill left for the Atlanta Falcons.

But Reiprish and Coughlin don't like it when names are thrown out as to who they should or shouldn't draft, which is something I've done many times in the past, some right, some wrong.

That's where the IE comes into play. Reiprish gave me that name on the Senior Bowl field this past January during a practice. After Tennessee's Al Wilson made a nice play plugging a hole on a run play during a 9-on-7 drill, I leaned between Coughlin and Reiprish and said a few words.

"That's how a linebacker is supposed to play the run," I said.

"IE," said Reiprish. "Instant evaluation."

Evaluation of players has always been something that has intrigued me, which is why I sometimes offer opinions as to who the Jaguars should draft.

A year ago, it wasn't Fred Taylor I thought the Jaguars should take. It turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Taylor is a superstar back in waiting, his speed and power a combination that teammates say will someday get him 2,000 yards. The guy I liked -- Cincinnati linebacker Takeo Spikes -- will also be a Pro Bowl player, but the Jaguars were right in taking Taylor.

Nevertheless, it's time to offer up my opinions as to whom the team should take this year -- as if it matters a bit. It is fun, though. But by no means is this based on instant evaluation.

No matter what Reiprish says.

So who should it be at No. 26? Or should the Jaguars even stay there? What about moving up? …

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