The Jacksonville Jaguars took Florida safety Reggie Nelson with the 21st pick. Mel Kiper reports that this is the guy they would have taken at #17, so they got a 3rd and 6th round pick, in essence, for nothing.
What the Experts Say:
- Rick Gosselin’s Final Ranking: 17th overall
- Mel Kiper Final Ranking: 14th overall
- Scout.com Final Ranking: 17th Overall
Scout.com Profile: Displaying tremendous improvement in his overall game last season, Nelson is a top-flight free safety with the ability to be placed over receivers in man coverage situations. Needs to fine-tune his instincts, yet should quickly break into a starting lineup for an NFL team who needs a ball hawk in center field.
STRENGTHS: Burst Out Of Breaks, Coverage Awareness, Recovery Ability
Biography: Junior college transfer who became a full-time starter last season, winning All-Conference and All-American honors after producing 51/6/5. Started four games the prior season and posted 46 tackles.
Pos: Athletic centerfielder with tremendous ball skills. Displays outstanding sideline-to-sideline range, shows good speed to the flanks and flashes on the scene, playing with a large degree of suddenness. Diagnoses the action, possesses a sense of timing and shows great hands going up for the interception. Plays with balance, body control and easily gets vertical or contorts in midair to defend the pass. Fluid pedaling in reverse, smooth flipping his hips and works well with cornerbacks. Possesses a closing burst and shows the ability to recover. Aggressive in run defense and sizes up ball carriers. Keeps the action in front of him and remains disciplined.
Neg: Not strong at the point of attack. Misreads assignments on occasion.
Filling the No. 1 need and getting great value is at the pick is all any team could ask for and the Jaguars did just that with this pick. Critics point out that Nelson is somewhat one-dimensional because he isn’t big enough to line up in the box or a great run defender but he has great range. His ability to cover so much ground should make him an immediate upgrade over FS Gerald Sensabugh and he gives the Jaguars another playmaker to complement DC Rashean Mathis. In addition, the Jaguars should feel comfortable with this pick because of their familiarity with the player. Jacksonville isn’t too far from Gainesville and head coach Jack Del Rio reportedly attended the Gators’ Pro Day.
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