Looking Back on the Jaguars’ Past Drafts: What Was the Result of the 2013 Class?

John Shipley

With the 2020 NFL Draft looming ahead in the coming months, and with Dave Caldwell returning as the Jacksonville Jaguars' general manager, it is worth looking back at past Jaguars' draft classes to determine the team's recent track record in April. 

Caldwell has been general manager since 2013 but it was from 2013-2016 when Caldwell was truly dictating the team's draft process. Former executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin entered the picture in 2017 and had a large say in the team's draft-day decisions. 

Of course, context is needed for each draft class. Sometimes picks simply don't work out, whether it is because of injuries, circumstance, or anything else. 

2013 was Caldwell's first draft as general manager, and while reviewing the class several years later gives us a look at the start of his track record, it is important to note he has obviously grown in his role due to experience since then. 

But 2013 was a year Jacksonville was slotted with the second overall selection, along with a number of other draft picks. How did Caldwell use his draft ammo in his first year ever picking players? We examined.

OT Luke Joeckel (Round 1, 2nd overall) 

Seasons with Jacksonville: 4.

Stats with Jaguars: Played and started in 39 games out of a possible 64.

Summary: Regarded at the time of the draft as potentially the best prospect in the entire class, Luke Joeckel failed to gain any footing during his NFL career. The left tackle out of Texas A&M started off as a right tackle in Jacksonville due to the presence of Eugene Monroe, and then suffered a season-ending high-ankle fracture during his first start at left tackle. Joeckel would struggle in his next two seasons before being moved to guard in 2016. A knee injury ended his season after four games, and he never played another snap for the Jaguars. 

SS Johnathan Cyprien (Round 2, 33rd overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 4.

Stats with Jaguars: 452 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 15 pass breakups, two sacks.

Summary: Jacksonville had high hopes for Johnathan Cyprien due to his fit in head coach Gus Bradley's scheme, but Cyprien struggled for most of his Jaguars career. He never became the playmaker the Jaguars badly needed him to be and was inconsistent as best in pass coverage. A physical player who gave great effort, Cyprien had the tools but ultimately didn't pan out, thus not earning a second contract with the team.

CB Dwayne Gratz (Round 3, 64th overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 3 full seasons, parts of a 4th season.

Stats with Jaguars: Three interceptions, 12 pass breakups, 119 tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles.

Summary: Thrust into a starting role early on in his career (25 career starts), Gratz had all of the traits most thought were needed to excel in Bradley's scheme as a press cornerback: he had size, length, and speed. But ultimately, Gratz failed to become a consistent fixture in the defense due to up and down play and was replaced in the starting lineup before being cut a few weeks into the 2016 season. 

WR Ace Sanders (Round 4, 101 overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 2.

Stats with Jaguars: 57 receptions for 539 yards and one touchdown. Two rushes for four yards.

Summary: After catching 51 passes for 484 yards and one touchdown in his rookie season, Ace Sanders caught only six passes for 55 yards in his second, and ultimately final, season with the Jaguars. He was cut in July 2015 with the Jaguars having a crowded wide receiver room with Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns. Sanders didn't play another snap in the NFL after being cut by Jacksonville, a reflection of the failure of the original pick.

RB Denard Robinson (Round 5, 135th overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 4.

Stats with Jaguars: 263 carries for 1,058 (4.0 yards per carry), and 5 touchdowns.  47 catches for 310 yards. 

Summary: Denard Robinson was sparingly used as a rookie but was given a few chances to carry the load for the Jaguars' running game in 2014. In the best season of his career, Robinson carried the ball 135 times for 582 yards and four touchdowns. But inconsistency and a fumbling issue (eight fumbles in four seasons) forced the former Michigan quarterback into a backup role behind T.J, Yeldon in 2015, and Robinson would carry the ball only 41 times in his final season in Jacksonville in 2016. He did not play for another team.

FS Josh Evans (Round 6, 169th overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 3.

Stats with Jaguars: 201 tackles, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, and five pass deflections.

Summary: Former University of Florida safety Josh Evans played early and often with the Jaguars, starting 11 games as a rookie and 37 games overall over three seasons. He was never much of a playmaker, recording no interceptions and forcing only one fumble, and eventually, the Jaguars opted to upgrade the safety spot opposite of Cyprien with Tashaun Gipson. Evans played for Washington in 2016 before falling out of the NFL.

DB Jeremy Harris (Round 7, 208th overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 2.

Stats with Jaguars: five tackles.

Summary: Jeremy Harris appeared in six games as a sophomore, and drafting him made sense since he played for DeWayne Walker, who was the secondary coach, at New Mexico State University. He spent only two seasons in Jacksonville though, eventually signing with Washington for one season in 2015. He has played in the Canadian Football League since. 

CB Demetrius McCray (Round 7, 210th overall)

Seasons with Jacksonville: 3.

Stats with Jaguars: Six pass deflections, one fumble recovery, one tackle for loss.

Summary: Demetrius McCray saw extensive time as a starter in 2014, starting in 12 games and recording three pass deflections. But the physical corner starter in only four games combined in the other two seasons of his Jaguars career. He was never able to become a true playmaker in the Jaguars' defense and once the talent on the roster began to increase, his role decreased. McCray played for the Oakland Raiders in 2017 and has been out of football since.

Overall 

The Jaguars had no players from their 2013 NFL Draft class spend more than four seasons with the franchise, which would be a failure for any draft class. The 2013 draft was considered weak, but it still did little to help Jacksonville build their roster. Only a few years later, Jacksonville would move on from each player in the draft class in an attempt to upgrade the roster. 

Joeckel's career was hampered by injuries but he never looked the part of a top left tackle. Cyprien didn't make enough of an impact to warrant being the first player selected in the second round, and players like Gratz, Sanders, Evans, and McCray did not play well enough to warrant sticking on the roster. 

Robinson's stretch of play in 2014 was the best of any of the players from the 2013 class, but even he was replaced with Yeldon, Chris Ivory, and Toby Gerhart. 

Overall, it was a draft to forget, with no true building blocks being a part of the class. The Jaguars would have better years.

Comments

Draft

FEATURED
COMMUNITY