Jacksonville Jaguars: Senior Bowl

Dee Ford wants to be the next LT

January, 27, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Several days before the Senior Bowl, former Auburn defensive end Dee Ford was asked to which current NFL player’s style he’d compare himself. Instead, Ford went old school.

"Why can’t I say Lawrence Taylor?" he asked. "That’s what I want to be like. I want to be the greatest."

Ford looked a little bit like LT during Saturday’s Senior Bowl. He had two sacks and deflected a pass in the first half, caused another incompletion, and drew two holding penalties to earn MVP honors. That was just a continuation of the dominance he showed throughout the week of practice.

The 6-foot-2, 243-pound Ford gave linemen fits all week. His explosiveness off the line helped him get the edge and he consistently got to the quarterback in drills. There wasn’t a tackle that could keep up with him.

Not many did during the season, either. Ford had 10 sacks in 2013, including two of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the national title game.

"Speed," Ford said of his best pass rush move. "All day. Speed."

That's a big reason the Jacksonville Jaguars' staff really liked Ford. They worked Ford out at leo last week and Ford called the position a "perfect fit." He does fit more as 3-4 outside linebacker who also can rush as an end. He’s still a little light at 243 pounds and the hope would be that he would be able to add 10-15 pounds of muscle and not lose any speed.

"Dee is exciting," coach Gus Bradley said. "I really like his personality. I like his spirit. He loves the game and he showcases that on the practice field. Anytime a guy can come off the edge and show the ability to have some rushes in him, it really stands out."

Ford said he had no trouble in the all-star setting because he said playing the SEC and the pressure to perform at Auburn during the run to the national championship prepared him well. He said that should get him ready for the NFL, too.

It’s interesting that Ford would list Taylor as the player he’d like to emulate because Taylor was in the last few seasons of a Hall of Fame career when Ford was born. Ford has never seen him play but has seen enough highlights and done enough research to know that Taylor was the most dominant defensive player of his era.

"He had everything," said Ford, who may have been able to move himself into the first round because of his performance last week. "He had everything. He had speed, power, he played hard, [and] he was physical. He had everything."

Ranking the Jags' QB interest

January, 17, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars are looking for a quarterback and will have a chance to get a close look at six next week in preparation for the Reese's Senior Bowl. Derek Carr, David Fales and Jimmy Garoppolo are on the South team, which the Jaguars will coach. So those three will be scrutinized more than the other three, but the Jaguars are going to get a chance to scout them all.

Here's an educated guess on how they rank in terms of Jaguars interest:

[+] EnlargeDerek Carr
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesFresno State's Derek Carr has the size and passing yards that scouts like.
Derek Carr (Fresno State): He was once regarded as a first-round pick but his stock has fallen in the wake of a poor performance against USC in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: 29-for-54, 216 yards, two touchdowns, one interception. Still, he led FBS in passing yards (5,082) and touchdown passes (50) and has the size (6-foot-3, 218) that scouts like. He played in a spread offense so there are questions about his ability to function in a pro offense and whether he can read defenses.

Tajh Boyd (Clemson): He finished his career with a bang, completing 31 of 40 passes for 378 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions in the Tigers' 40-35 victory over Ohio State in the Discover Orange Bowl. He's a little shorter than the ideal QB height (6-1) but he has the ability to scramble out of trouble and run with the ball (1,163 yards and 26 TDs rushing). Sometimes he's too quick to run, though, instead of trying to find a second or third option.

David Fales (San Jose State): Fales and Carr each threw for 300 or more yards nine times and Fales finished third in FBS with 4,189 yards. He has a quick release and has shown that he will look for his second and third options if his primary receiver is covered. He's a little raw, though, and probably isn't going to be a quarterback who can play right away. He may need a season or two.

Stephen Morris (Miami): The Jaguars are likely more familiar with Morris than any other quarterback because offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was with Morris at Miami for two seasons. There's a lot to like about him. He's 6-2 and 218 pounds with a strong arm. He's tough, athletic, and can make all the throws. However, he has been inconsistent throughout his career, especially when he plays against some of the weaker teams that he and the Canes should dominate. He also makes too many of those what-the-heck decisions that drive coaches crazy.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois): He was added to the South roster as a replacement for A.J. McCarron and is coming off a week of practices before the East-West Shrine game in which he drew a lot of praise. He has been productive (5,050 yards and 53 TD passes this season) but he did it at the FCS level so there are questions about whether he can do it against a higher level of competition. The buzz about him at Shrine game practices centered on his accuracy, arm strength, and quick release.

Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech): His size (6-6, 254 pounds), athleticism and arm strength have scouts drooling and comparing him to Cam Newton physically. His production doesn't match his talent, though. He has completed only 55.5 percent of his passes in his career and has thrown 53 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions. He's a project, but the payoff could be high if he finally figures things out.