JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gene Smith's draft philosophy is simple: "If you miss, you want to miss big."
Smith has gone big with every early pick in his two years as Jacksonville's general manager, selecting two offensive linemen and three defensive tackles in the first three rounds.
The trend probably will continue this week.
The Jaguars, who have the 16th pick in the first round Thursday night, desperately need to upgrade a defense that ranked 28th in the league last season (371.8 yards a game) and managed the second-fewest sacks (26). And given that the draft's deepest and most talented position is the defensive line, the Jaguars are likely to go in that direction even though they could use a franchise quarterback, a big-play receiver and plenty of help in the secondary.