Monroe fits Smith's focus on foundation-building
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Receivers Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin may wind up being NFL superstars. But from the day he got the job, Jaguars GM Gene Smith has talked about building from the inside out.
History suggests the Jaguars are a lot less likely to miss on offensive tackle Eugene Monroe than they would have been choosing a receiver, and surely their recent history of first-round failure at wideout was an influence.
Monroe doesn't have to be Jacksonville's left tackle on opening day Sept. 13 at Indianapolis. They signed veteran Tra Thomas as a buffer. Perhaps this puts incumbent right tackle Tony Pashos on notice. If Monroe is good in the preseason, might the Jaguars start him out on the right as he gets his NFL bearings, with plans to flip him to the other side in a year or two?
The Jaguars need to protect David Garrard better and give him better weapons to throw to. Without the time someone like Monroe can help give him, the people running the routes may not matter as much.
Jacksonville can sell this as a substance-over-style move.
And if the receiver market continues to be slower than anticipated, perhaps they still land a top-flight prospect with the seventh pick of the second round, 39th overall.