Only three Gene Smith draft picks remain

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- And then there were three.

With receiver Cecil Shorts III signing a two-year contract with the Houston Texans on Monday, there are only three players remaining on the Jacksonville Jaguars' active roster from the tenure of former general manager Gene Smith: defensive end Tyson Alualu, defensive end Andre Branch, and punter Bryan Anger.

Receiver Justin Blackmon is on the reserve/suspended list and doesn't count against the Jaguars' roster limit or salary cap. Nor do the Jaguars have to pay any of his salary until he is reinstated. Tight end Marcedes Lewis and kicker Josh Scobee are holdovers from Shack Harris' tenure as general manager (2003-2008).

Smith was promoted to general manager on Dec. 23, 2008, one day after Harris resigned. Smith oversaw four drafts (2009-12) and made 26 picks. Some of the players are still active and have become good players for other teams -- offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton -- but most are reserves or little-used players.

Of the 26 picks, only 12 played in a game in the 2014 season, and that includes Alualu, Branch, and Anger.

Here are the best three and worst three picks from Smith's tenure:


OT Eugene Monroe (2009): Smith's first pick as GM has been a solid starter in the NFL. Monroe, the No. 8 overall pick, started 62 games in four-plus seasons with the Jaguars before being traded to Baltimore four weeks into the 2013 season. The Ravens signed him to a five-year, $37.5 million contract last March.

DT Terrance Knighton (2009): The Jaguars' first third-round pick in 2009 has become one of the league's better run-pluggers. The Jaguars decided not to bring him back after his contract expired following the 2012 season, in part because of weight issues. Knighton started every game for the Denver Broncos the past two seasons and has 12.5 sacks in six seasons.

WR Cecil Shorts (2011): Shorts, one of the team's two fourth-round picks in 2011, has been productive when he has been healthy, catching 176 passes for 2,343 yards and 12 touchdowns in four seasons with the Jaguars. His best season came in 2012 when he caught 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns. However, he missed 14 games because of various injuries in four seasons with the Jaguars.


QB Blaine Gabbert (2011): Do we really need to re-hash Smith's decision to trade up to No. 10 and take Gabbert, who went 5-22 as a starter and threw 24 TD passes and 28 interceptions?

OT Eben Britton (2009): Smith took Britton with the 39th overall pick, and he struggled with several injuries and was eventually moved inside to guard. He missed 27 games in four seasons with the Jaguars, then signed as a free agent with Chicago and has missed nine games in two seasons with the Bears.

WR Justin Blackmon (2012): Blackmon, whom the Jaguars took with the fifth overall pick, is very talented, but he's also very troubled. He has been suspended since the bye week in 2013 for his third violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The Jaguars have played 48 games since they drafted Blackmon, but he has played in 20. He has 93 catches for 1,280 yards, which are very good numbers, but his unavailability is a huge issue.