Published April 29, 2012
| Sports Network
1 - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (6-1, 207); 2 - Andre Branch, DE, Clemson (6-4, 259); 3 - Bryan Anger, P, California (6-4, 208); 5 - Brandon Marshall, ILB, Nevada (6-1, 242); 6 - Mike Harris, CB, Florida State (5-10, 188); 7 - Jeris Pendleton, DT, Ashland (6-2, 328)
Top Picks Analysis: The Jaguars accelerated their offensive rebuilding plan by climbing up two spots in the first round to reel in two-time Biletnikoff Award recipient Blackmon, whose terrific hands, physical style and determined demeanor help offset a lack of high-end speed and have drawn comparisons to multiple Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin. General manager Gene Smith then turned his attention towards rectifying the team's other obvious deficiency, a lethargic pass rush, with the selection of Branch. Albeit an unfinished product with only one year of sustained dominance in college, the 22-year-old can fire off the snap and has the frame to add more girth to be an effective three-down player. Smith followed with the curious choice of Anger in the third round, though the former Cal standout is a legitimate NFL-caliber prospect with excellent leg strength and hang time on his kicks. Jacksonville relinquished its fourth-rounder to Tampa Bay in order to make the move up to No. 5 for Blackmon.
Best Value Pick: Harris is a fearless and willing tackler with good recognition and ball skills despite starting only one season at Florida State, and stands a reasonable chance to stick as an extra secondary defender in sub- packages and contributor on special teams.
Questionable Calls: Anger may turn out to be an above-average punter at the next level, but considering that one hasn't been chosen as high as the third round since 2005, odds are Smith could have waited and instead targeted a more heavily scouted position with the 70th overall pick. This draft didn't provide any extra depth along the offensive line, something the Jaguars could have used.
Summary: Smith will probably be taken to task for grabbing a punter in the third round, but his aggressive pursuit of Blackmon was a good move and Branch has considerable upside as a pass rusher. Since those were the two positions that were the most in need of a facelift, Jacksonville was able to improve itself over the three days.
FINAL GRADE: B-