Two years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed close to really breaking through in the AFC. David Garrard had established himself as a legitimate starting QB, the running attack featuring Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew was as good a 1-2 punch as anybody’s, and the Jaguars defense was big and nasty in the trenches. Last year, lots of things went wrong for the Jags. Too many to list here, but one of the main problems was poor play from the offensive line. So they did something about it in free agency, signing long time Philadelphia Eagles T Tra Thomas. And they further addressed the T position in particular in this weekend’s 2009 NFL Draft.
The Jaguars selected OTs Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton with their first two picks before moving on to other areas of need on the team. Monroe, a 6’5″ 309 lb behemoth out of the University of Virginia, was the 8th overall pick, while Britton was the Jaguars 2nd round pick (39th overall). On Monday, Monroe he joined WJXL in Jacksonville to talk about the draft process and his thoughts and plans for this coming summer of preparation for the 2009 season.
On how he was surprised Jacksonville selected him due to the fact that he hadn’t had much prior contact with them:
“I had talked to Jacksonville at my Pro Day…but since then, I hadn’t talked to them. So it was surprising to me when I got that phone call but man was I excited.”
His mindset going into draft day and his thoughts on not going quite as high as some thought:
“Well I was relaxed on draft day. I just sort of went in just waiting to hear my name called. I didn’t go in there anticipating being picked in any particular spot. I was a little surprised when I saw the two guys go ahead of me. But that’s just motivations. That’s motivation for my performance these upcoming years.”
A lesser known fact is that Monroe is one of sixteen children! On how he got so big having to fight for food with all those siblings and what it was like growing up with so many people in the house:
“Genetics. [laughing] My mom is 6” feet tall and my father was 6’5″ too. And I have a few other brothers that are pretty tall too, pretty much my height. A lot of those people were not in the house at the same time. A lot of my brothers are a LOT older than I am.”
Is it true that he even has a 60 year old brother?
“Yes, sir. He lives in North Carolina.”