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Smith turns heads with Alualu pick

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Recent posts by Arthur Arkush

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Posted April 22, 2010 @ 9:42 p.m. ET
By Arthur Arkush

GM Gene Smith provided the first big surprise of the evening with the selection of Cal DE Tyson Alualu.

A high-energy, pass-rushing defensive end was the Jaguars' greatest need, but Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan was the guy I had targeted. Many experts did not have Alualu coming off the board until sometime early in the second round.

Like most people, I was surprised by this pick. That said, Smith drafted the best available player on his draft board, and I applaud him for taking a chance. This isn't the first time Smith has turned heads with a selection — the Jaguars trading back into the third round to select William & Mary CB Derek Cox last year caught almost everyone off guard, but Cox had a fine rookie season, starting all 16 games and leading the team in picks with four.

Alualu is a strong, instinctive, versatile lineman who has the ability to play anywhere on the D-line for the Jaguars. He has a high motor and good character, which Smith values greatly. He started out in a 4-3 scheme before switching to a 3-4 his junior year. Alualu is very stout at the point of attack and should be able to contribute right away no matter how the Jaguars decide to use him.

Paired with offseason acquisition Aaron Kampman and rookie standout Terrance Knighton, the Jaguars' defensive line should possess a tenacity that was seldom seen last season.


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