With the second pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2013 NFL mock draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Latif Masud is serving as the Jaguars' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
Going into the process, I narrowed the list of players down to a few that I felt were good values at pick No. 2 and somewhat fit a need the Jaguars have. My philosophy is that the second overall pick should be a type of player that makes the scheme and does not necessarily have to fill an immediate need. That meant there were quite a few players that fit the bill. I looked hard at offensive tackles like Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher, quarterback Geno Smith, defensive ends Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. To me, these players are talented enough physically to be worthy of the second overall pick, and they seem like the type of players that could be cornerstones for a franchise.
With these players in mind, I looked at what the Jaguars currently have on the roster. For starters, they had already taken an offensive tackle and quarterback with top-10 picks recently in Eugene Monroe and Blaine Gabbert, with mixed results. From everything I have read, Monroe seems to have improved quite a bit since his rookie season, so I didn't feel I would get the most value from taking another offensive tackle. At quarterback, Gabbert has struggled quite a bit, but he has only started 25 games in the NFL thus far. Combine that with the fact that the Jaguars were 30th in sacks given up in 2012 and 25th in the category in 2011, I feel that he deserves at least one more season to prove himself, especially with an improving receiving corps and Maurice Jones-Drew coming back to full health next season.
That meant, to me, that my pick would have to be a defensive one, where I was considering ends Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah, along with defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. The Jaguars already have defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, the 10th overall pick in 2010 and a pretty solid player. Plus, I just didn't see enough in scouting reports I read about Lotulelei to think he was the best value, and there is the whole heart condition thing. To me, a defensive tackle picked second overall should make an Ndamukong Suh type impact on the defensive line, and I don't think Lotulelei is the next Suh, which meant I was left with choosing between one of the two defensive ends.
While Jordan is clearly the more accomplished of the two, I couldn't resist picking Ansah here for two reasons. Reason one: He has all the potential to be the next Jason Pierre-Paul. Given how little football Ansah has played, I was surprised at how fluidly he moves and pursues running backs and quarterbacks. He moves like a 230-pound linebacker, yet he's actually a 270-pound defensive end. Those are things you just cannot teach. An NFL defensive line coach can teach him all the techniques and moves he will need to know, and it will probably take a season or two for him to fully blossom, but the Jaguars aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so they can wait for Ansah to come into his own.
Reason two: I wanted to the put the Lions GM in a unique position that most of us haven't discussed. What do the Lions do if Ansah and the tackles are off the board by No. 5?
Check out the 2013 Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.