Ranking Former Jaguars’ GM Gene Smith’s Draft Picks

Gene Smith is perhaps most famous (or infamous) for not drafting Tim Tebow in the 2010 NFL Draft. And let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t know who the hell Smith is. He was the man who drafted Tyson Alualu, a projected second round defensive tackle, rather than the “savior” of the franchise. Never was there a hometown guy that was so desperately wanted by some fans to be drafted to a team.

Some. Not all. Not even half.

Well, it never happened. Smith selected California’s Tyson Alualu with the tenth overall selection.


Looking back, for me, it was the right choice over Tebow, but there were others who were projected better than Alualu at the time and came out as better players so far in their NFL career. Earl Thomas could’ve helped a woeful Jacksonville secondary or Jason Pierre-Paul could’ve helped cure the Jaguars’ anemic pass rush. But hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

Smith was quoted later that night by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King as saying, “I don’t give a damn about perception. I’m trying to win a Super Bowl.”

Well, that Super Bowl never came to fruition. Not even close. Smith’s penchant for drafting small school players and having more misses than hits in free agency cost him his job in the end.  Not to mention his roster earned the Jaguars their worst record in franchise history.

It wasn’t all bad, however. His first draft was arguably his best, producing solid players in Eugene Monroe, Derek Cox, and Terrance Knighton. Although now Knighton and Cox have moved on to the Broncos and the Chargers respectively.

Here is my ranking of each of Smith’s draft picks from his tenure as GM of the Jaguars.

*GM for 2009-2012 NFL Drafts.

*No Pro Bowlers drafted.

*22-42 overall record in Gene Smith’s time as GM.

*Two head coaches (Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey) plus interim head coach Mel Tucker in late 2011.

*3 players no longer in NFL.

*10 players on other NFL roster as of 6/16/13

*Number of small school players drafted: 15 of 26 (Mount Union, William & Mary, Temple, Liberty, Murray State, Lehigh, S. Illinois, Wyoming, Louisiana Tech, Ashland (Ohio), Nebraska-Omaha, Rice, Central Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State, James Madison).

*SEC players drafted: None (Blaine Gabbert went to Missouri while they were still in the Big 12).

*12 draft picks are currently still on the roster.

  1. Round 1 Pick 8 2009 draft Eugene Monroe OT, Virginia – 58 starts in 4 seasons
  2. R4 P114 ‘11 Cecil Shorts III WR, Mount Union – 9 starts in 2 seasons, 1009 YDS, 57 REC, 8 TD
  3. R1 P5 ‘12 Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State – 14 starts in 1 season, 64 REC, 865 YDS, 5 TD
  4. R3 P73 ‘09 Derek Cox CB, William & Mary – 45 starts in 4 seasons, 203 TCK, 32 PD, 12 INT, signed by Chargers
  5. R1 P10 ‘10 Tyson Alualu DT, California – 48 starts in 3 seasons, 123 TCK, 9.5 SCK
  6. R3 P72 ‘09 Terrance Knighton DT, Temple – 49 starts, 140 TCK, 7.5 SCK, 3 FF, signed by Broncos.
  7. R1 P10 ‘11 Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri – 24 starts, 2 seasons, 372-691, 53.8%, 3876 YDS, 21 TD, 17 INT, 62 times sacked, 154 Rush YDS, 8 fumbles, 5-20 record as a starter
  8. R4 P107 ‘09 Mike Thomas WR, Arizona – traded to Detroit for mid-round pick (10/30/12) – 31 starts, 171 REC, 1768 YDS, 6 TD, 1 PR TD
  9. R3 P70 ‘12 Bryan Anger P, California – 91 PUNTS, 4353 YDS, 47.8 AVG, 31 IN20
  10. R7 P250 ‘09 Rashad Jennings RB, Liberty – 224 ATT, 944 YDS, 4.2 AVG, 7 TD, 61 REC, 454 YDS, signed by Raiders
  11. R5 P153 ‘10 Austen Lane DE, Murray State – 17 starts in 3 seasons, 66 TCK, 3 SCK, claimed by Chiefs
  12. R3 P76 ‘11 Will Rackley OG, Lehigh – 14 starts in 2 years, IR in 2012
  13. R2 P39 ‘09 Eben Britton OT, Arizona – 30 starts in 4 seasons, signed by Bears
  14. R6 P180 ‘10 Deji Karim RB, Southern Illinois – cut draft weekend 2012, signed with Texans.
  15. R6 P176 ‘12 Mike Harris CB, Florida State – 6 starts in 1 season, 55 TCK, 1 SCK, 6 PD, 1 INT
  16. R4 P121 ‘11 Chris Prosinski S, Wyoming – 8 starts in 2 seasons, 72 TCK, 4 PD, 1 INT
  17. R2 P38 ‘12 Andre Branch DE, Clemson – 3 starts in 1 season, 12 TCK, 1 SCK
  18. R3 P74 ‘10 D’Anthony Smith DT, Louisiana Tech – no starts in 4 seasons, IR 1st 3 years, 10 TCK
  19. R5 P142 ‘12 Brandon Marshall LB, Nevada – waived in week 7 of 2012, re-signed, 2 TCK
  20. R7 P228 ‘12 Jeris Pendleton DT, Ashland (Ohio) – 1 tackle, 4 games in 2012, signed by Cowboys
  21. R6 P180 ‘09 Zach Miller TE, Nebraska-Omaha – waived 8/31/12 final cuts, currently on 49ers.
  22. R5 P144 ‘09 Jarrett Dillard WR, Rice – waived 5/7/2012, on Cardinals.
  23. R5 P143 ‘10 Larry Hart DE, Central Arkansas – final cuts before 2011 season, out of NFL.
  24. R7 P253 ‘09 Tiquan Underwood WR, Rutgers – cut in 1st rd of cuts before 2011 season, on and off of Patriots’ roster multiple times in 2011, currently on Buccaneers.
  25. R5 P147 ‘11 Rod Issac DB, Middle Tennessee State – waived 8/31/2012 final cuts, out of NFL.
  26. R6 P203 ‘10 Scotty McGee KR, James Madison – waived before 2011 season, out of NFL.

Agree? Disagree? Still think Tim Tebow can play quarterback? Tell me about it in the comment section below.


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